Saturday, December 2, 2023

Do something different, C.N.R. Rao tells students

Roorkee (Uttarakhand), March 28 (IANS) Eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao has asked students to take the less travelled road to succeed and lamented the paucity of funds for science and education in India.

“First thing for success, take a lonely road,” said C. N. R. Rao at IIT-Roorkee’s annual Cognizanceon festival Friday, quoting Robert Frost’s ‘The road not taken’.

He expressed disappointment over everybody flocking to the same information technology industry.

Rao, a receipient of the Bharat atna, India’s highest civilian honour, recounted his own successful experience that he was one of the very few people in the world who took up solid state chemistry back then and how people mocked at him for that.

The scientist also highlighted that Indian educational institutions and scientific departments are in dire in of money.

“IITs need more money, if IIT-Roorkee needs to be like MIT, it needs more money.”

“I would like our prime minister and government to take interest in the working of the department. So many directors posts are vacant, large number of them are vacant, these have to be rectified,” said Rao, reflecting on the state of scientific departments and educational institutions in India.

He underwent very testing times in his early days without equipment and when asked, how he managed in those difficult times, he said, “Nothing. I used to built, every furnace. I had to borrow wire from friend in America. Everything I did was on a bootstrap operation. Building little, little equipment.”

“I wanted to have a particular kind of balance, I made my own parts balance, making a spring and all. It took me 30 years in India before I could do the exact thing I wanted to do.”

Rao said as a 26-year-old young scientist, he wrote a book on ultraviolet sepctroscopy and a few years later he wrote another book on infrared spectroscopy which changed everything and won applauds from C. V. Raman.

He also said that though the national policy for education recommended six percent of GDP for education only two percent is dedicated.

In his message to researchers, he said, “I tell you don’t give up. Whatever be the problem, don’t give up. He adviced them to practice the qualities of dedication, doggedness and tenacity.”

Rao suggested the young people to suffer pain for success and do something different and work for India.

He inspired the audience to always remain students by saying: “I am an eternal student. I am still a student.”

Through Cognizance, IIT-Roorkee has thrown open a melange of events and competitions encompassing robotics, coding, biotechnology, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, architecture and planning, earth sciences, electronics and communication and quizzes among others.

This year’s festival received UNESCO patronage and is aligned with the United Nations observance of 2015 as International Year of Light and Light based Technologies and Cognizance theme is ‘Photonizing I’.

Cognizance will host 180 events March 27-29.

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