Though India produces the third largest pool of science and technology graduates in the world every year, the amount of innovation and original research happening in the country is minuscule, said Iqbal Singh, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
“India produces only two per cent of the world's research publications. There are few takers for research as a career,” he added.
He was addressing students here on Friday at the inauguration of the second edition of VIT University's international knowledge carnival, graVITas. Mr. Singh said that technology can be used as a leverage to move towards an economy that functions on the principle of inclusive growth. He asked the students to start a ‘science for people' movement that could offer practical indigenous solutions.
Terming universities as centres of innovation, G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University said that it was unfortunate that very few Indian universities have made it into the list of top 500 universities in the world.
Quoting India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said, “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for the adventure of ideas and for the search of truth.” Reminiscing about a particular incident a year ago when a few students approached him with the idea of launching a sounding rocket, he said, “I was not very sure.” The launch eventually did happen on July 7 this year, with the help of ISRO. “Students are capable of innovation. Always have faith in them,” Mr. Vishwanathan said.
T.M. Bhasin, chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, said that the current generation of students stand at an important crossroad.
“A lot of opportunities are going to come your way. Be alert to the first sign of change,” he said.
The theme of graVITas 2010 is ‘Go Green' and 20,000 saplings are expected to be planted in Vellore to offset the amount of carbon consumed to host the event. Over three days, more than 56 events in 13 broad categories of technology and management will be held.
From a Model United Nations (MUN), which will feature the first completely foreign language MUN consul session (in Chinese) to robotics and aero-modelling, the knowledge carnival will feature innovative events with participation from national and international students and scientists.