Combine science and spirituality: Union Minister

Staff Reporter

Amrita Centre for Nanosciences inaugurated

KOCHI: Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekharan has called for combining spirituality and science to make lasting contributions to humanity.

Inaugurating the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences under the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham here on Saturday, the Minister said that India continued to be a vibrant civilisation because both spirituality and scientific quest co-existed among its people.

The Minister said that it was not the money that was earned but the inner strength that we need.

C.N.R. Rao, President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, said the new frontiers of nanotechnology beckoned India and its researchers. Great ideas were of no use if one was not dedicated to pursuing it, said Prof. Rao, who made a brief presentation on the new developments in nanotechnology research.

He said that India still lagged behind whereas China was in the vanguard of nanotechnology research. Nanotechnology was a popular and difficult area with high competition, said Prof. Rao.

However, he said that India could make up what it lacked in monetary investments through ideas.

Swami Amrita Swarupanandapuri delivered the benedictory address at the inaugural function. Shanti Nair welcomed the gathering.

New nanotechnology initiatives were introduced by Dr. Nair. P.K. Abdul Aziz, Vice-Chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology, and Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor of the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, signed an agreement for collaboration between the two institutions in nanosciences research.

The new centre is the first Government of India-funded nanotechnology initiative for tissue engineering and stem cell research in India.

The centre is working on the development of natural tissues and organs without the need for using synthetic implants or searching for donors. The centre is also developing new nano materials for applications in energy generation and storage.