Call to transfer knowledge to field

CHENNAI, MARCH 24. Educational institutions offering water resources management or environmental sciences have to transfer swiftly and effectively knowledge to the field, P.S. Rao, irrigation specialist, said today.

Participating in a three-day conference on the role of technical education in sustainable development here, Dr. Rao said agricultural research institutions were "far more successful" in bridging the "knowing-doing gap" than those engaged in irrigation or environmental sciences. Dr. Rao said the World Trade Organisation commitments enabled the entry of foreign universities. "Though this has presented a challenge to us, it has also given us an opportunity to improve ourselves. Through benchmarking, we will know where we stand."

K. Venugopal, Director of the Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University, stressed the importance of multidisciplinary approach to technical education.

Sukumar Devotta, Director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), said engineering students should address pollution problems.

Jatindranath Swain, Commissioner of Technical Education, said engineers should be able to predict shortage in natural resources and devise an appropriate response.

K. Thanasekaran and K. Karunakaran, Directors of the Centres for Environmental Studies and Water Resources, and E. Balagurusamy, Anna University Vice-Chancellor, spoke.

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