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Business News/ News / India/  Narayana Murthy on coaching centres: 'Even our IITs have become...'
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Narayana Murthy on coaching centres: 'Even our IITs have become...'

Murthy, valued by Forbes at $4.5 billion, said India faces huge challenges in the field of research in sciences despite the country achieving the feat of producing coronavirus vaccine and inoculating its people

Infosys founder Narayana Murthy. (PTI)Premium
Infosys founder Narayana Murthy. (PTI)

Billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, the founder of software giant Infosys, on Tuesday said that IITs are becoming a victim of learning by rote. “Even our IITs have become victims of this syndrome, thanks to the tyranny of coaching classes," the IT tycoon said.

Murthy, valued by Forbes at $4.5 billion, said India faces huge challenges in the field of research in sciences despite the country achieving the feat of producing coronavirus vaccine and inoculating its people.

Speaking at an event to present Infosys prize to six people by the Infosys Science Foundation, Murthy lauded firms, which manufactured and supplied the billion vaccines against Covid-19.

The Infosys co-founder said this was an achievement by any standard. He appreciated the rollout of the new national education policy, which is based on the recommendations of professor Kasturirangan Committee.

The IT tycoon also appreciated professor Gagandeep Kang and several others becoming fellows of the Royal Society in London, and professor Ashok Sen winning the Millenium prize.

"These are all encouraging and happy events that show that India is on a path of growth absolutely but we still have huge challenges," Murthy said.

“There is not a single Indian institution of higher learning in the top 250 of the world university global ranking that was announced in 2020. Even the vaccines we have produced, or either based on technology from advanced countries, or based on research from the developed world. Consequently, we still have not produced a vaccine for dengue and chikungunya, which have been ravaging us for the last 70 years now," he added.

According to Murthy, experts say that India’s inability to use research to solve immediate pressing problems is due to lack of inculcating curiosity at an early age, disconnect between pure and applied research, inadequate cutting-edge research infrastructure in the higher educational institutions, insufficient grants and inordinate delays in creating incentives for research and inadequate fora for knowledge sharing with global research institutions.

‘Money not the primary resource for success in…’

The Infosys founder opined that money is not the primary resource for success in invention or innovation.

He said there were two components for success in research -- the first component is to re-orient teaching in schools and colleges towards Socratic-questioning and relating what they learn in the classroom to the real-world problems around them, rather than passing the examinations through learning by rote. The second step is for researchers to focus on solving the immediate problems. Such a mindset would inevitably lead to solving bigger challenges, he opined.

The IT industry icon said the IITs are becoming a victim of learning by rote, too. “Even our IITs have become victims of this syndrome, thanks to the tyranny of coaching classes," Murthy said.

He said nation’s progress on the economic and social front depends on the quality of scientific and technological research. PTI GMS According to Murthy, research thrives in an environment of honour and respect for intellectuals, meritocracy and the support and approbation of such intellectuals from society.

“Therefore, recognising and rewarding the outstanding research efforts of researchers is necessary. By doing so, we will encourage not only other researchers, but also create role models and inspire young people to consider careers in research," Murthy said ahead of announcing the researchers selected for the Infosys Prize-2022.

He further said that scientific research is about curiosity, daringness, healthy skepticism and questioning status quo.

He added that the country has had a healthy run in scientific and technological progress in the last few years.

Here are the Infosys Prize- 2022 winners – engineering and computer Science - Suman Chakraborty; humanities - Sudhir Krishnaswamy; life sciences - Vidita Vaidya; mathematical sciences - Mahesh Kakde; physical sciences - Nissim Kanekar, and social sciences - Rohini Pande.

The Infosys Prize carries a purse of $1,00,000.

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Published: 15 Nov 2022, 08:26 PM IST
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