Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Delivering the convocation address on "Science and technology priorities and national development'' at the Sri Venkateswara University here on Tuesday, he said the global co-operation must be on an `equal partner' basis and not on a `donor-recipient' basis as was happening now, in the form of denial of technology to India under the so-called `Technology Control Regimes'. However, he said it was inevitable that some of the frontier areas of basic research would be determined by the technology imperatives of the developed countries. He stressed that national development and national security were two sides of the same coin and hence priorities could not be mutually exclusive. He also attached high priority for four kinds of basic and applied research viz., globally competitive, mission-oriented, country-specific and industry-oriented research, which would invariably have linkages and overlaps among them.
While highlighting that R&D priorities must match technology goals, he felt unhappy over the large and medium industry paying little attention and meagre allocation on the research front. He felt unhappy that the industry was looking for transfer of technology from national R&D labs and ideas born out of academic research to supplement their in-house R&D activities. Dr. Chidambaram saw comprehensive development of the country only when the rural pockets of India could boast of facilities available in the semi-urban areas of developed countries. For this, he urged the various S&T institutions in the country to attain synergic effect in rapid national development by acting in cohesion. He favoured adoption of "technology foresight'', which according to him was determination of possible future technology, while at the same time taking into account the social, security, economic, environmental and ethical issues involved in it. He said human cloning, genetically modified plants, inter-planetary travel, fast breeder reactors, etc. come under this category, the further exploration of which needs a technological impulse coupled with social insight. Presiding over the 43rd convocation of the varsity in his capacity as its chancellor, the Governor, C. Rangarajan, presented 130 gold medals and gave away 1,290 certificates relating to Ph.Ds, M.Phils and PG courses. One noteworthy feature of this year's convocation was that there was no customary conferment of honorary doctorates. The Vice-Chancellor, P.Murali, in his report presented on the occasion, gave an overview of the activities currently under way on the campus to improve its standards. The Registrar, S. Balu, proposed a vote of thanks.
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