Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta : In fact, we confuse day before’s engineering for tomorrow’s science.
Bharat Ratna Prof C N R Rao : That is one thing. Another mistake is that something like a rocket goes off, we think it’s science. There is not much science in that. Real science is that which is done in small laboratories, chemistry, biology, physics, whatever. It’s small science that takes science forward.
Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta :Basic science, science which comes out of curiosity.
Bharat Ratna Prof C N R Rao :Y es, small science, basic science takes us forward, gives you progress. All your recognition in science comes from that.
Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta : The country has confused making atom bombs and missiles with science. Science has suffered in India.
Bharat Ratna Prof C N R Rao :Oh, it has. Eventually, it is the creative urge that drives man to do things independent of money, grants. I don’t want anything, no money will satisfy me. But the pleasure of discovering something, making something worthwhile, keeps me happy.
Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta : Has Indian science suffered because of this confusion of science with strategic assets, as we call them?
Bharat Ratna Prof C N R Rao :Absolutely. When people say they have given so much money for science, actually what they are giving is for big projects, say in atomic energy or space. That is not enough. They have to support people in universities, in educational institutions, and young people to come up. Young people don’t find it attractive to work here because they don’t get enough to go on working in a competitive fashion. Last five to 10 years, there is a slight improvement, but we have a long way to go.
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