Over 700 scholars from Bharat and abroad deliberated how to sublimate research for national regeneration making it socially relevant, environmentally eco-friendly and technically and economically sustainable
Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) opened his heart about the necessity of original innovations and ideas and not just the research of ‘cut and paste’ nature to obtain only degree for jobs, scholars from different streams of science, humanities and literature, planners, decision-makers, policy and framers gathered in Nagpur to deliberate on this very theme and its application for bettering the human life.
The three-day conference, Research for Resurgence, organised by Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) at VNIT Nagpur resolved ‘to take the benefits of research to the last man standing in the row. A total of 728 scholars from Bharat and abroad participated in the conference. The main objective was to explore and imbibe the ‘Bharatiya perspective’ towards life when the whole world is still revolving round the ideas like ‘holistic and sustainable’ development.
Framework for Action
Inaugurating the conference, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani rightly criticised those who always denounce the Bharatiya research. “We must celebrate Bharatiya contribution to science and mathematics,” she said appealing to the audience to consider contributions not only from the Silicon Valley but also from Damodar Valley to the field of science and technology.
Noted educationist Prof Aniruddh Deshpande said the research was very important component of education. Quest for excellence and inquisitiveness has been the academic tradition of Bharat but it seems to have disappeared due to overdose of materialism today. Stating that Bharateeya talent is still alive, we need to promote research that is good for the society. He appealed to the scholars to do research for social uplift and for this they should be ready to break the slavery of the formal system, he added. The resurgence in the research is needed to explore the ultimate goal of human life, he said adding that we must adapt and adopt the changes in technology and science for the betterment of human life.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis said his government would set up a Model Laboratory at least in each district so that the students get an opportunity to dwell into various aspects of research since their school days. This model lab will be on the lines of the one made by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, he said adding that he wanted to make Maharashtra a innovation State and extend full support to the research activities for human wellbeing.
The participants were divided into four groups for discussion viz. ‘Udyam’, ‘Sthapati’, ‘Manas’ and ‘Naipunya’. The first group ‘Udyam’ was comprised of those from industry and academia including 30 CEOs and equal number of Vice-Chancellors. They discussed the ways to draw a roadmap for industry-academia interface. Rajiv Modi,CMD of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, R Gopalkrishnan, former director of Tata Sons, SP Bansal VC of Maharaja Agrasen University and Yogesh Singh VC of Delhi Technological University were the panellists. Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti, inaugurated the symposium. Shalini Sharma from CII was the moderator for the session.
The second group was of architects called ‘Sthapati’ which witnessed presentations from some of the best participating architects. Nimish Patel from Ahmedabad, Chitra Vishwanathan from Bangaluru, Anil Laul from Delhi being prominent amongst them. ‘Manas’ group devoted their time and energy to discuss issues related to psychology. Anand Paranjape from Canada was the chief orator amongst the psychologists who had gathered for indepth thinking.
‘Naipunya’ was the fourth group that included young researchers. This group was more interested in honing and sharpening the skills of the upcoming researchers. Shri Narendra Karmakar who worked with NASA for supercomputer design also spoke.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar stressed on using research to know the secrets of nature but lamented “our education system is killing the research instinct” among the students. Noted water expert Madhav Chitale called for comprehensive research that would include Water, Environment, Habitation, Agriculture and Biodiversity (WEHAB). AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe dwelt on developing analytical mind for fundamental and applied research.
Noted economist S Gurumurthy said prejudiced mindset of the intellectuals about Bharat and everything that is Bharateeya proved fatal for innovations. “Our students have immense potential, however, many educational institutions do not have enough means for research. That’s why the country lags on research and innovation,” said noted space scientist and former Chief of ISRO Madhavan Nair. Head of Physics Department at BARC Dr BN Jagtap stressed to remove the ‘disconnect’ between science and society.
Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari stressed the need to have all-encompassing vision in research to make it more useful for the people and solving their problems. Niti Aayog Member Dr VK Saraswat said the country needs nano, bio researches that would contribute to all round development of the country. VNIT Chairman Vishram Jamdar, Dr Arvind Joshi, Dr Vaman Gogate, Vinayak Kanitkar, Mukul Kanitkar, Principal GN Hadap, Prof BK Kuthiala, and other scholars were also present on the occasion. There was a ‘brainstorming’ session on the framework for research emerged out of the deliberations in the conference. With minor modifications it was decided to set up a Research for Resurgence foundation at Nagpur. The conference was co-sponsored by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Visveswaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University (KKSU), Sant Gadgebaba Amravati University (SGBAU) and Gondwana Univeristy, Gadchiroli (GUG). Virag Pachpore