Promote Mobile Science Labs in a big way: Kalam

Promote Mobile Science Labs in a big way: Kalam

- CCMB moots four-year B Sc course across the country Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has suggested to take the laboratories to the rural areas ...

- CCMB moots four-year B Sc course across the country kalFormer President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has suggested to take the laboratories to the rural areas in an attempt to popularizing science. "Mobile Science Laboratories can kindle interest not just in students but in people. This is a cost-effective mechanism as well. Just as virtual labs for the benefit of students of various institutes, mobile labs can be created and sent across," he exhorted during a speech delivered on the "Declining interest in Science Education and Research among Students: Reasons and Remedies" at IICT in Hyderabad on Friday. The lecture was part of a national seminar in which eminent scientists and academicians are taking part. "Kothari Commission has made some valuable suggestions to promote basic research in science. The academia and the rulers should have a look at them. We should inculcate among people the use of science in day-to-day life. We should extirpate fear among children on science," Kalam stressed. Noting that many of the students after 10+2 have set their eyes on engineering and medicine, Kalam asked if everyone in the country become engineers or doctors, who will pursue research in science? "Let us try to identify some good youngsters who have interest in research.. I say we need to have at least 400 MScs and 200 Ph Ds who are serious in taking up research in their respective science disciplines. They will in turn develop equal or more number of students of same interest. Let premire scientific institutions like CSIR, IICT, CCMB, NGRI, ISRO, DAE, IISc, IITs, IIPs make a coordinated effort in this endeavour," Kalam advised. Kalam has also suggested to the scientific community to encourage young talent. Narrating an experience he encountered when he has honored Norman Borlog at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi some years ago, he said Dr Borlog, during his course of speech has asked some of the young scientists who had made valuable contributions for the Green Revolution to rise up from the seats so that people present there could know the men behind the great success. "That is what is called as scientific magnanimity. I hardly notice such magnanimity from our scientists. I suggest they should be broad enough to encourage their juniors," Kalam pointed out. In a piece of suggestion to senior scientists, Kalam noted that the real challenges ahead now are mostly in energy and health sectors. "Developing thorium-based atomic energy for power generation, raising the use of photo-voltaic cells to 40 percent from the present 15 percent for solar energy, sensing earthquakes beforehand, developing HIV vaccines, taking up stem cell research in lot many areas etc are some of the challenges that need to be addressed," Kalam felt. Dr Mohan Rao, Director of CCMB, in his address, mooted four-year B Sc course in all institutions across the country. "Let us say good-bye to MSc once for all. The four year course includes post-graduate curriculum as well. This has been successfully implemented at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. As we know, after completion of graduation or post-graduation, students have been on roads without study, without job. A four year-course coupled with an in-built mechanism for research or practical orientation, which can fetch jobs, will be more useful," he opined. "I have broached this topic with the heads of some universities who expressed inability to implement since their structure is guided by UGC. I spoke to the Chairman of UGC who told me that the matter is yet to be fully looked into as he has got such proposals from some other people as well," Mohan Rao informed.
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