Expert calls for better R & D initiatives

Universities and research and development institutions must ensure a steady supply of skilled manpower required for the country in the next five years, said V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Executive Vice-President, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment.

After inaugurating a conference on ‘Recent advances in surface science’ at the Gandhigram Rural Institute near here on Thursday, in his address, he said that research in basic sciences formed the core of scientific development. As per Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 of the Central government, the country needed 68 per cent more fulltime scientists. Progress could be achieved only through effective institution-industry tie-up and more research and development work.

“Though more women than men go for higher studies, the number of women doing research is less. Their talents must be better utilised. Women must be encouraged to opt for research so that the growing demand for scientific manpower can be met,” he said.

Despite improvement in research activities, India still lags behind when compared to many other countries. Stressing the importance of ensuring quality in research to the level of global standards, Dr. Pillai said that research could be done on various day-to-day applications. Many States required a scientific approach for implementing social schemes and sustainable income generation activities. Young scientists should do research in these areas, he said. Research by scholars from different fields in a collaborative manner would bring better results. Biologists, engineers and technologists should work together on socially-relevant subjects such as healthcare. Team work, networking and collaboration were imperative to do research in every important discipline, Dr. Pillai said.

The faculty and higher educational institutions should encourage students to undertake research, offer them the opportunity, create the right ambience, and give guidance. Scope for advanced research in many areas in the country was very bright, he added. Registrar N. Narayanasamy was present.

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