Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Scindia: Link universities with manufacturing sector
NEWDELHI: India needs to encourage linking universities, which are hub of research and development, with the manufacturing sector to be able to meet the demands of the market, said Congress MP and former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday.
Presenting the GD Birla Award for Scientific Research, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation, to Prof Sanjay Mittal (2015) and Prof Umesh V Waghmare (2016), Scindia stressed on the need to focus attention on research and development, a critical area for growth.
“India needs to concentrate hugely on research and development, not only in terms of financial outlay but also ensuring that we have the outcomes. For that, we need financial allocation, but more importantly, we need coupling between universities as centres of learning and knowledge banks and the manufacturing sector,” he said.
Citing the example of developed nations where linkage between industry and the universities are fostered, Scindia said: “It is important to be able to understand which way technology is moving and to be able to supply that. Those inter-linkings are very pronounced in the developed world, whether it is the US, Japan or Taiwan. We need to get that coupling much more enriched in India.”
Shobhana Bhartia, president of the KK Birla Foundation, said the award instituted in 1991 is in recognition of “high calibre scientific research” undertaken by Indian scientists, preferably below the age of 50, living and working in India.
“It was purposely decided to reserve this award for a relatively younger age group and this unique feature has been widely appreciated by the scientific fraternity,” she said, adding that at least three previous recipients have later gone on to be elected as fellows of the Royal Society of England.
She said the award is traditionally given away at a private function at the Birla House, as the residence was very close to KK Birla, the founder president of the Foundation.
The recipient of the award for 2015, Prof Mittal from the department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur, has been chosen for his contribution to the area of mechanics. Winner of several awards and recognition including the INSA medal for young scientist and JC Bose fellowship, Prof Mittal also works in the field of sports aerodynamics.
Prof Waghmare of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, has been felicitated for his contribution to physics.
Recipient of distinguished alumnus award of IIT Bombay, BM Birla Science Prize in Physics and the secretary of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Prof Waghmare’s recent work is focused on development of materials that are central to the current issues related to energy and environment.
The award, with a cash purse of ~2.5 lakh, is given every year after a board comprising the president of the Indian National Science Academy and eminent scientists pick the winners.