Staff Reporter

Institute urged to look at future prospects

Ratan Tata urges the management to demolish hierarchy

Bangalore: The premiere Indian Institute of Science must “demolish hierarchy” and create an atmosphere where scientists can pursue their research freely, said Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Sons Ltd. and great-grandson of Jamshedji Nasarwanji Tata who founded the institute 100 years ago.

At the valedictory of the year-long centenary celebrations of IISc. on Wednesday, Mr. Tata said that in a world where boundaries and barricades were blurring, IISc. must strive to break new grounds instead of “building a fortress” around itself. IISc. must seek to be different, said Mr. Tata, and transform itself to serve the needs of the future.

“The institute has to look at the future, at scientific achievements and excellence,” Mr. Tata added.

Interaction

Students interacted with Mr. Tata later and sought his views on brain drain to the West and the Tata Group’s proposed low-cost schools and low-cost houses.

Money, quality of life, opportunities and the freedom to carry out work were the primary reasons for the brain drain, he said.

“Our institutes need to be equipped with all necessary facilities.” As for low-cost houses and schools planned by the Tata Group, he said,

Challenge

“We have gone out with a challenge to the industry to address the needs of the lower economic base of the country, which calls for a product that is affordable and durable.”

The schools were envisioned as educational institutes that are independent of government control.

At the valedictory function, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister C.N.R. Rao asserted that the future of a country is “bleak without science” and urged IISc. to run the “choicest” programmes. Science institutes should “electrify” the minds of students, he said and pointed to the example of the Science Park at Cambridge University.

P. Balaram, director of IISc., recalled the role of English scientist Morris Travers, IISc’s first director, in the evolution of the institute.

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