fifty years ago January 6, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (Jan. 6, 1971): The Government and scientists(From an Editorial)

The inaugural address of the Prime Minister and the presidential speech of Dr. B.P. Pal at the annual session of the Indian Science Congress at Bangalore have been on familiar lines. While the Prime Minister complained against the failure of scientists to emerge out of their shells and help science fulfill its social obligations, Dr. Pal was chagrined over the Government’s neglect of scientists, particularly the agricultural scientists. According to the Cabinet Committee on Science and Technology India’s scientific manpower is said to be comparable with that of the United Kingdom, France and Germany and substantially higher than that of Canada, Sweden and Italy. But the Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr. Atma Ram, had no hesitation in challenging this view when he addressed the Indian National Science Academy in Bangalore. He may or may not be right, but it is a fact that the contribution of Indian science to our material progress has been tardy. This seems to be due as much to our scientists not putting their best foot forward as to the inadequate rapport between scientists and the Government. The Government has felt sore over the lack of initiative on the part of scientists. It has, however, failed to realise the limits of such initiative. As specialists, these persons have the competence, other things being equal, for solving the problems referred to them. But it is a different matter altogether to expect them to identify all or any scatter of such problems, because these are related to the particular tempo of material progress(at the given point of time), decisions on which depend largely on official developmental policy.

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