Every youth wants to be unique but the world around him wants to make him like everyone else. It is a challenge and one has to fight harder to overcome odds and become unique, former president APJ Abdul Kalam has said.
Creativity, righteousness and courage were the three qualities one needed to possess to overcome odds in life to become unique and be remembered by people, the eminent scientist said at the inaugural of a two-day national conference on ‘Declining Interest in Science Education and Research Among students: Reasons and Remedies’ jointly organised by the Osmania University College for Women and the Andhara Pradesh Akademi of Sciences in association with NGRI, IICT and CCMB, here on Friday.
Kalam tried to analyse the root cause of the decline of interest in science among students by saying that the choice for a majority of the 7.50 million students in the country as to what subjects they should study was decided by parents. ‘’Parental affection for their children wants them to see their wards have a proper job and decent income. But they should let the child pursue whatever subject he or she has interest in.’’
He said science should be made attractive to students. Seven great inventors and discoverers _ Thomas Alva Edison (electric bulb), Graham Bell (telephone), the Wright Brothers (aeroplane), CV Raman (scattering of light), Srinivasa Ramanujan (mathematician), Marie Curie Radioactivity) and Subramanyam Chadrashekar (evolution of stars) _ were all unique and that’s why they were remembered even today, the eminent space scientist said.
Stating how Hardy mentored and encouraged Srinvasa Ramanujam, he wanted senior scientists to encourage their juniors and budding scientists. He also emphasised the need for science academies to make science attractive for students. ‘’A great mind and great heart grow together,’’ he said.
Kalam also called for more result-oriented research on photovoltaic cells, nuclear power generation using thorium, which is abundant in India, proteomics, anti-malaria vaccine, stem cells, forecasting of earthquakes and rains.
He suggested to law makers to create a science cadre with 400 postgraduates and 200 Ph.Ds for an assured career growth in various science laboratories in the country.
CCMB director Mohan Rao said it was not due to lack of any interest in science but failure to provide life-supporting careers based on pure science that was seeing a decline in the study of science. He suggested that the study of science be made a four-year course at the college level with more practical orientation.
Osmania University vice-chancellor S Satyanarayana, OU College of Women principal BT Sita, IICT director Ahamed Kamal and others also spoke.