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Kakodkar cautions against missing research-technology connectivity

By Our Special Correspondent

C.S. Seshadri, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute (right), welcoming A.C. Muthiah, Founder Trustee of the Institute and Chairman, SPIC, at the foundation laying ceremony for the campus at SIPCOT Information Technology Park, Siruseri, near Chenn ai, on Friday. Looking on is Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (second from left). — Photo: N. Sridharan

CHENNAI, AUG. 6. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Government of India, today cautioned against missing the connectivity between research and technology and between home-grown technology and economic activity while working for higher level of excellence.

Laying the foundation for the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) campus at the SIPCOT Information Technology Park on Old Mahabalipuram Road, near here, he said only yesterday, shaping research and development programmes of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in the remaining period of the Tenth Plan came up for discussion. It was refreshing to note that inputs for the discussion were received from 1,000 youngsters. Some of them like the one on "econo-physics" were important, he said.

Appeal to experts

Dr. Kakodkar appealed to experts to resort to "soul-searching" why in the prevailing scenario, attracting youngsters to core areas such as research, technology, science and mathematics, which were inter-dependent, was not encouraging though the country had very good tradition of scholarship and building technologies.

On several young researchers going to developed countries, excelling in personal life and returning to the country, he said conditions should be created to shorten the cycle. Claiming that he had been observing the activities of the CMI from a distance, Dr. Kakodkar said there was no parallel to the institute in the country. Since mathematics was one of the important mandates of the DAE's activities, it would continue to assist the CMI, he said.

The CMI Director, C.S. Seshadri, said founded in 1989 by A.C. Muthiah as part of the SPIC Science Foundation, the institute had become an autonomous body in 1996. It had attracted eminent visiting scholars from several countries. In 1998, it took the initiative to bridge the gap between teaching and research by starting B.Sc. and M.Sc. programmes in mathematics and allied subjects, he said.

Best school of learning

Mr. Muthiah, founder trustee, CMI and chairman of SPIC, said the institute emerged as one of the best schools of learning in mathematics and computer science. Research groups in these two subjects were among the best known.

He said its members maintained active research collaborations with leading institutes in the world.

The meeting was addressed by R. Balasubramanian, Director, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai; K. Madhava Sharma, honorary executive director, CMI; R. Thyagarajan, Chairman, Shriram Group Companies, Chennai; and M.S. Raghunathan, Chairman, National Board for Higher Mathematics, Mumbai.

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