‘Only four out of every 1,000 are opting for research’
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General Vijay Kumar Saraswat observed that the number of students opting for science and technology is very low and the demand for engineers in the area will increase in the coming years.
Addressing the M.Tech, B.Tech, MCA and MBA students at the second annual convocation of the Koneru Lakshmaiah University (KLU) here on Monday, Dr. Saraswat presented a detailed picture on various research activities and the success of scientists in the recent past. Dr. Saraswat, who is also the Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Secretary to Department of Defence Research and Development, explained the budding engineers on the achievements of India in missile programming, unmanned aerial vehicles, Tejas – India’s light combat aircraft, INS Arihant, main battle tank Arjun, Hypersonic flight, Nano crystal cell for solar energy and other projects.
Stressing on the need for focusing more on research, the Padma Bushan awardee said that in our country very few engineers were opting for science and technology or research.
“In India a meagre four persons out of every 1,000 are choosing S&T or research, as compared to 110 in Japan, 76 in Germany and Israel, 55 in USA, 46 in Korea and eight in China. The demand for quality engineers is bound to increase in the coming years” said Dr. Saraswat.
Stating that deep involvement in research is must for an engineer, the scientist suggested innovative schemes to attract youngsters by providing assured opportunities in academia, industry, laboratories and other sectors to curtail flow of talent away from science.
Regarding funding for research, the DRDO chief said it is high time that industry should come forward to support the higher engineering institutions in their research pursuits.
“India has made a notable achievement in aerospace technologies by launching India’s first medium altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), weighing 1,800 kg meeting most daunting manoeuvres and commanded by ground control. Now, we are planning to launch another aerostat named ‘Nakshatra’ which can travel up to a height of 5 km with one tonne pay load and 500 km radial range”, said amid huge applause from the young engineers.