Dr Vijay Bhatkar
First Prof Rajendra Singh Memorial Lecture in New Delhi
“INDIA is sure to overtake the US and China in the field of science and technology by the year 2030. This has also been said by a US intelligence report. What is needed today on our part is to prepare ourselves for such a bigger role and overcome our shortcomings,” said noted scientist, inventor of Super Computer and founder director of C-DAC, Dr Vijay Bhatkar. He was delivering first Prof Rajendra Singh Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on January 29. The Lecture was organised by Prof Rajendra Singh Smriti Sewa Nyas, Prayag. The function was presided over by noted IT personality and former vice chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Shri FC Kohli. The topic of lecture was ‘the Future of Indian Science’.
Founder trustee of the Sewa Nyas, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, founder trustee Shri Ashok Singhal, founder trustee Shri Tarun Vijay, chairman of the Trust Dr KB Pandey, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Dr Krishna Gopal and veteran Sangh Pracharak Shri Madan Das also shared the dais. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, Uttar Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Bajranglal Gupt, family members of Prof Rajendra Singh and many other distinguished people of Delhi were also present at the NDMC Convention Centre, where the function was held.
Prof Rajendra Singh, who was affectionately called Rajju Bhaiya by his admirers, was the fourth Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and remained its chief between 1994 and 2000. He also taught Physics at Allahabad University. Seeing his extraordinary scientific talent, noted scientist Dr CV Raman had invited him to accompany him to his laboratory, but Rajju Bhaiya declined and dedicated his life to the nation as a Sangh Pracharak. He was staunch supporter of imparting scientific knowledge in Indian languages.
Presently, Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Delhi, Dr Bhatkar further said Swami Vivekananda, after Chicago speech, had predicted in America that India would get independence within 50 years and in the next 100 years she would emerge as a super power. His first prediction proved correct in 1947 and the second one is going to prove correct shortly. India will surely become jagadguru, not only in the field of science and technology, but also in many other fields, he added.
Talking about ‘extreme computing’, Dr Bhatkar said the new-age super computers being developed in the country will be made available to all 1,500 institutions through the national knowledge network. He stressed the need to focus on innovations in all the fields, whether it is memory, chips, circuits, cables, etc. so that all the people could be armed with computers. He said India cannot become a world leader without super computer, as it makes the work easy, faster and impressive.
He said there is a future of science in India. “Our science does not lag because of lack of talent. What lacks is we have not learnt how to govern. We have not learnt how to manage science…Indian science lags because of governance of science,” he said. Referring to government approach towards science and technology, he recalled how he was suddenly told to shut down the C-DAC project by some officials without understanding the significance of the project.
Paying tribute to Prof Rajendra Singh, he said Rajju Bhaiya was a great personality, who shaped the life of many scientists and students in the country. He said it is very appropriate time to organise the memorial lecture on science. He said the science and technology policy of the country should be inclusive and sustainable. He described the extreme computing as game changer for India. He also recalled the great Indian scientific tradition and said the knowledge mentioned in ancient Indian literature should be explored and utilised for the betterment of the country.
Presiding over the lecture, Shri Fakir Chand Kohli said the fruits of information technology are yet to reach a large number of the people. “We have so many languages in India. Twenty of them have similarity to Sanskrit. If we are able to link all the languages to computer, majority of the people will be able to use computer. It is a challenge, which has to be addressed by all of us. The scientists should accept this challenge,” he said, stressing the need to focus on both hardware and software innovations. He said the country today lacks hardware industry, which should be developed on priority basis. Another challenge that Shri Kohli mentioned was IT education on large scale. He said the country has highly talented people and intelligence. He also said to improve the conditions of labs and stop the IT brain leaving the country. Shri Kohli also stressed the need on increasing foodgrain production.
Earlier, introducing the Nyas, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi stressed the need to connect Sanskrit to computer. “If Dr Bhatkar does it, it will be a great service to the nation, as it will help us to use the knowledge available in Sanskrit literature,” he said. Talking about the life of Rajju Bhaiya he said Rajju Bhaiya played a key role in the development of many great scientists of the country and exhorted people to feel proud of the great scientific traditions of the country.
Dr Krishna Gopal said Rajju Bhaiya chose teaching profession because he believed that the work of national reconstruction should be accelerated through universities. “He inspired so many students to take up the teaching profession. It was because of his commitment to the profession that he refused to accompany Dr CV Raman in his laboratory.
Shri Madan Das, who did not speak due to poor health and his message was read out by Shri Tarun Vijay, said Rajju Bhaiya regarded the entire nation as his birthplace and that is why he wished to be cremated wherever he breathes his last. Dr Narendra Gaur, one of the Trustees, proposed a vote of thanks. —Pramod Kumar