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High time India invested in pure science, says noted academician Dr Pritam Sharma

High time India invested in pure science, says noted academician Dr Pritam Sharma

New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) Noted academician and Founder-Vice Chancellor of Delhi Technological University Dr Pritam B Sharma today cautioned the policy makers against the perils of neglecting basic science in the educational schemes of things. 'It was high time that India invested in pure science as it was only the basic science that can drive innovation and advancement by widening the frontiers of knowledge,' Dr Sharma said, talking to UNI. 'Why can't India have a NASA?,' was his poser as he noted how great research institutions like BARC, CSIR and DRDO, established by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did yeoman service to the industrial and scientific advancement of the country. Dr Sharma, at present Vice Chancellor of Amity University, has in his recently published book ‘’Path to Excellence’’ has dwelt in detail on an integrated approach to the educational agenda for ‘’holistic’’ advancement of the country. He said basic science began to be neglected after 70s as market forces began to dictate everything in the society. 'We are in a crisis at the moment. At one hand India is making advances in a number of areas like space and defence technology, on the other hand love for basic science was becoming a hard currency,’’ he said. A profound understanding of science was crucial to the understanding of the fundamental processes of nature, needed for innovations, he said. He also underlined that while promoting the study of basic science, incorporation of interdisciplinary approach was a must and should be finely caliberated. Replying to a question on the environmental degradation in the context development, Dr Sharma said the problem of destruction and depletion of natural resources and environmental pollution was very serious and a 'very strong political will' was needed for the solution. 'Something was needed with a sense of urgency,’’ he said. He said it has to be realized that it was not just poverty that was Killing the poor, rather it was the utter neglect of responsibility to maintain a clean environment and purity of water bodies and ground waters that had brought the country to the brink of a manmade disaster. Talking about his book he said he had In the last chapter has noted that while India had made its mark in world in respect of economic growth and was at great advantage because of its demographic dividend, the loss of respect to law and civic sense was creating an an utterly unhppy society, making India one of the unhappy countries in the world. ‘’We find that we are a country where we enjoy breaking the laws…the level of lethargy and the freedom to rob is so high that no one feels safe…Strange it may seem that we are a society that claims to be God fearing but perhaps fears even the divinity within,’’ Dr Pritam says in the book. India was young nation with an estimated 150 million people in the age group of 18-23,which was great demographic advantage but whether the country would be able to tap the rich dividend from this advantage remained to be seen, he said. ‘’Without a well-educated and skilled work force tuned to human values we shall continue to reel under the crisis of poor employability and inefficiency in our business and governance system, a weakness we cannot afford, given the size of poverty, corruption and indifference that we have at hand to tackle,’’ he says Dr Pritam, who has also studied Vedas in depth, has dwelt at length on the integration of science and spiritutality in his book. While underlining that expanding frontiers of physics, the latest example of which was the discovery of the God particle that has resolved the mass and massless boundaries of matter and energy, were going to transform the world, he has said,’’ it must be clearly understood that the integration of science and spirituality would be required to create a world order in which growth, prosperity and happiness shall flourish together with eternal peace and divine bliss. It is this hope that shall drive us to a brighter and better tomorrow.’’ But here he has word of caution lest his stress on spirituality should be understood for daily religious rituals of prayers in temples. In the last chapter of his book, he says, ‘’ the long queues in temples for having glimpse of divinity and prayers for our well being are more of a selfish motive, than the prayers which our ancestors made for well being of the vast humanity on the strength of their practice of a life of purity and truthfulness.’’ In other chapters of his book, Dr Sharma has given engaging narration of his student days, his life in a small village Khamtala in Madhyapradesh and his days in Samrat Ashok Technological Institute where he got gold medal in mechanical engineering, and then the exciting time he had at University of Birmingham, UK from where he received his doctorate. UNI NAZ RJ 1116

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