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‘India to be leading scientific power by 2020’

Special Correspondent
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GITAM varsity confers honorary doctorate on Kasturirangan, TCS chief and two others

Noted space scientist and Member Planning Commission K. Kasturirangan being greeted by TCS CEO and Managing Director Natarajan Chandrasekaran, after both were honoured with honorary doctorates at the fourth convocation of GITAM University in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Also seen are Chancellor K. Ramakrishna Rao Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam.— Photo:C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM
Noted space scientist and Member Planning Commission K. Kasturirangan being greeted by TCS CEO and Managing Director Natarajan Chandrasekaran, after both were honoured with honorary doctorates at the fourth convocation of GITAM University in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Also seen are Chancellor K. Ramakrishna Rao Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam.— Photo:C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

Noted space scientist and Planning Commission Member K. Kasturirangan on Tuesday said India was poised to emerge as one among top five global scientific powers by 2020.

He was delivering the fourth convocation address of GITAM University here after he was conferred D.Sc (honoris causa) by Chancellor K. Ramakrishna Rao at Rushikonda campus. TCS CEO and Managing Director Natarajan Chandrasekaran and eminent nephrologist Devinder Singh Rana were given D.Sc (honoris causa) and social worker and CEO of ekNazar.com Prasad Thotakura a honorary D.Litt in the presence of GU President M.V.V.S. Murti and Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam.

He said the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy-2013 envisaged “a strong and viable science, research and innovation system for high-technology-led path for India.” He said the policy stressed the need for a paradigm shift in S&T and enabling a robust innovation system for an all-inclusive growth and aimed at strengthening linkages between stakeholders and scientific agencies.

Mr. Kasturirangan said massive investments were being made in space research and disclosed that India would send its spacecraft to Mars on October 28 as part of Mars Orbiter Mission.

Exhorting students to focus on their studies and career with commitment and passion, he said the new challenges to research now stem from new scientific approaches like nuclear energy, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and stem cell research and also from the increasing involvement and commercial interest of industry.

“In order to illustrate the differing perceptions of the impact of modern science on society and the need for a holistic approach with a convergence of various disciplines, let me dwell on two concrete areas of research; synthetic biology and nuclear energy as an example and the need to devise proactive process to be adopted for assessing public attitudes on one side and level of risk acceptable in social context of evolving policy on new science approach on the other side,” he stated.

Energy security

Underlining the need for achieving energy security, he said nuclear power would offer a viable alternative to face the challenges of tomorrow. “To build a new generation of nuclear power stations, there would be very important issues to be addressed; a strategy for dealing with the economics, safety, security, social and management of radioactive waste.”

Mr. Kasturirangan said nuclear power industry had matured over the decades, under stringent regulatory environment. Extensive measures for safety and secure operations had been implemented. However, in spite of the best of international safeguards in place, public perception on risks of nuclear power still persisted, he observed and opined that these challenges would continue to be faced in future by the planners but needed to be appropriately responded.


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