TAMIL NADU

'Progress in science should benefit poor'

BANGALORE JAN. 3. The Karnataka Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, on Friday called for "political entrepreneurship'' to ensure that the benefits of advances in science and technology reached the country's poor.

Speaking at the 90th Indian Science Congress, inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mr. Krishna said the State had consistently been the leader in harnessing technology for development.

He referred to the computerisation of land records through the Bhoomi project and said the State could be "an intelligent user of technology, but a political entrepreneurship is required to experiment with technologies and replicate successful ones for development.''

The "critical challenge'' governments faced today was that it fell upon them to ensure that the rapid strides being made in science and technology were translated into benefits for all.

Advances in IT and other sciences could also be used to connect remote areas, promote small business and entrepreneurship, improve agriculture productivity and provide better healthcare.

Projects such as Bhoomi coupled with satellite communication connecting all the taluk headquarters, would pave the way for "participatory decision-making,'' he said.

Mr. Krishna said that he had been following with great admiration the Indian Space Research Organisation's work and looked forward to further cooperation between the State Government and ISRO.

Awards

The Prime Minister gave away 33 Indian Science Congress Association awards.

The Bangalore Science Forum was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Prize for popularising science. H. Narasimhaiah, scientist-educationist and founder of the forum, received the award.

N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies, was given one of the two Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary awards.

The other awards include the Asuthosh Mookerjee Memorial Award, which went to S.K. Joshi, the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award, which was bagged by G. Madhavan Nair, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, the C.V. Raman Birth Centenary Award was won by M.G.K. Menon, Professor, ISRO, and the Srinivasa Ramanuja Birth Centenary Award, which was given to R. Parimala, Professor, School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

The Science Congress is being organised by the ISRO and Bangalore University.

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