Hope for the country is its youth, says C.N.R. Rao

Renowned scientist C.N.R. Rao said here on Thursday that though the country was progressing economically, it was declining intellectually and spiritually and was mired in mediocrity.

Prof. Rao, who is also Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, was in the city to inaugurate the Knowledge Park and a science exhibition at Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala.

Addressing the students, Prof. Rao said though the 21st century belonged to Asia, India's contribution was not significant. Both China and South Korea had leapfrogged ahead of India on various indices, including education and science and technology. He pointed out that China invested an enormous amount in science and technology, and South Korea, which became an independent nation around the same time as India secured freedom, was way ahead of India in science and technology and other areas.

‘Negligible'

“India's contribution to the top 1 per cent of the intellectual and scientific output was negligible while China was surging ahead and proclaiming itself as number one in economy, militarily and in sports,” Prof. Rao said.

He attributed the decadent state of affairs in India to mediocrity, and said, “In India, mediocrity is a way of life and people have learnt to accept it as such.” Though the country had institutions of repute such as the IITs, none of them were in the same league as the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Prof. Rao, and attributed this to lack of creativity.

However, he said there was hope for the country in its youth and called upon the students to be diligent in their pursuit of knowledge and unwilling to accept mediocrity in life. “My hope for the country also stems from the untapped potential of youngsters in rural area,” he added.

Continuing with his comparison of India with China, Prof. Rao pointed out that Chinese were proud of their country and were nationalistic whereas most Indians did not take pride in their country.

“We have a queer mentality in our country and most parents I know of in Bangalore are proud that their children are in the U.S.,” Prof. Rao said, and added that the time had come for Indians to worry about the future of the country.

Contribution recalled

Prof. Rao spoke at length on scientists and their contribution referring to the works of Michael Faraday, J.C. Bose and C.V. Raman. He told the students that creativity and creative thinking held the key for excellence.

Earlier, Prof. Rao gave away prizes to students who had won various competitions conducted by the vidyashala. Indumati Rao and Swami Muktidanandaji, correspondent of Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, were among those present.


  • ‘In India, mediocrity is a way of life and people have learnt to accept it as such'
  • ‘My hope for the country also stems from the untapped potential of youngsters in rural areas'

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