Kalam wants IISc among world’s top 10 institutes

December 14th, 2008 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 13 (IANS) Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Saturday tasked the century-old Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here to work towards ranking among the world’s top 10 institutes by 2030.”In the second century of its existence, I want to see IISc rated as one of the top 10 science and technology institutes in the world by 2030,” Kalam said while inaugurating the institute’s centenary conference in its green campus.

“As the country’s premier science institute, I have a lot of expectations from its faculty and students over the next two-three decades,” he added.

Unveiling the wish-list he had drawn for the institute for the coming decades, Kalam told a jam-packed audience that scientists and students of IISc should find lasting solutions to the pressing problems of the country - energy independence, food security, healthcare and education for all and lifting some 300 million people above the poverty line.

“In addition to making rapid advances in modern science and cutting-edge technologies, the institute should address the challenges the country will face in the coming decades.

“Though producing excellent research papers and creating innovative technologies are no less important, there is a social and moral obligation on the scientific community to find lasting solutions to the problems of daily life faced by the common man,” Kalam maintained.

Recalling his long association with the institute and some of its eminent scholars such as space scientist Satish Dhawan and materials scientist Brahm Prakash, he said it was high time the institute produced at least 10 Nobel laureates by 2030 as against a lone Nobel laureate - C.V. Raman - in the last century.

“The institute should become a nerve centre of ideas, innovation and discoveries to excel in all branches of science and engineering. The faculty and students should focus on sustaining rural development, find techniques to increase food production using less land, water and other resources, discover vaccination to treat malaria, HIV and cancer, develop genetically modified seeds for ushering the second green revolution and design, develop and produce hyper-planes and 90-seater jet aircraft,” Kalam pointed out.

Exhorting the scientific community to think big, dream big and act big, the former president advised the institute to open up its hallowed precincts to undergraduate students with courses in basic sciences to generate a steady talent pool and expertise in various disciplines.

“The institute should become a virtual educational hub to reach out the youth of India and be a beacon of light for other science and technology institutes across the country,” Kalam added.

The four-day conference is being held as part of the institute’s centenary celebrations.

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