To team up with Indian institutions in applied and pure sciences fields

The United Kingdom-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is exploring options for collaboration with Indian institutions for research in applied and pure sciences.

The EPSRC is looking “if there are any possibilities” for collaboration with India and will consider firming up deals with institutions and universities after the new government finalises its budget and allocations to various sectors.

“This is thinking time. We will love to do something in the next couple of years,” EPSRC mathematical sciences portfolio manager Vivienne Blackstone said.

Dr. Blackstone — who is representing the European group of research institutions at the International Congress of Mathematicians here — said the EPSRC would keep open the discussion on collaboration with universities and community.

“Our representative office based here will explore links with Indian institutions and we have to ascertain what they have in mind,” she said.

Career preferences

Dr. Blackstone and EPSRC portfolio manager Caterina-Eloisa Mora told TheHindu that the decline in the number of students pursuing careers in pure sciences like mathematics could be due to the perception that job percentages were not good.

“There is a great potential in India and several other countries, but I don't know whether the preference of studies is related to career graph,” Dr. Mora said.

Students preferring computer and software-related subjects, perhaps, did not get the right kind of tracking on the prospects of pure science like mathematics.

“If they don't understand this earlier on, it is hard to change the path at later stages,” Dr. Mora said.

Applications like runway management and communication networking are based on sophisticated mathematics and offer a vast scope for students. “Effective interaction is necessary for the promotion of applications of pure sciences,” Dr. Blackstone said.

They explained that the EPSRC has taken several initiatives in promoting collaboration between universities and industry in physics, chemistry, energy, ICT and nano technology, which received “great feedback.”

“The industry academia link is vital for optimising any sort of situation using advanced mathematics and the response for the initiative has been great,” Dr. Blackstone said.