Santosh Patnaik

Nuclear scientist V.S. Ramamurthy expresses concern over the damage IT is doing to the language

BERHAMPUR: With the world becoming a global village, knowledge workers would call the shots, nuclear scientist V.S. Ramamurthy said on Saturday.

Delivering the 15th Convocation Address of Berhampur University (BU) at the tastefully-decorated Bhanja Mandap of Bhanja Bihar campus near here, he said the emerging knowledge era had posed a challenging task to the people. He cited the instance of how Bill Gates shot into fame after making a humble beginning as a worker in a garage and later owning a Fortune 500 company.

D.Litt conferred

The convocation was held after a gap of 21 years owing to fund crunch and for other reasons. Earlier, Prof. Ramamurthy conferred honorary D.Litt on Pandit Suromani Raghunath Panigrahi, world famous exponent of Odissi music.

Governor Rameshwar Thakur presided and Vice-Chancellor J.K. Baral gave the welcome address. BU awarded three D.Litt, one D.Sc, 64 PhD, 809 PG degrees and 6,447 undergraduate degrees on the occasion.

"One need not be born in the family of a millioneer or a billioneer to be successful in life. What one needs is knowledge - which cannot be taken away by anyone. Even under the international property rights regime, knowledge cannot be patented," Prof. Ramaurthy told the students.

While underlining the need to use recent advances in technology, he expressed anguish at IT destroying all the languages. "Just see the way SMSs are being sent on mobile phones," he said.

Prof. Ramamurthy, who is working as Bhabha Chair Professor at Inter-University Accelerator Centre after his retirement as Secretary in the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, said today's students should acquire soft skills to do well in the competitive world.

The scientist said fast changes in technologies often would make skills redundant unless a continuous programme of skill upgradation was undertaken. "Education then becomes a continuing exercise," he opined.