Why India failed in 1 science invention or idea since 1960s, Questions Murthy at IISc

iiscEver since the visit of Nehru in 1962 to the US where he exhorted Ph.D.s to return and be part of India’s reconstruction, it led to green revolution, white revolution and ISRO’s birth.

In the last 60 years, India was able to ape the western scientific advances making merely marginal addition to what was already invented with no impactful idea to claim, said Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, in his convocation address at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Listing the top 10 inventions of the US-based Massachusets Institute of Technology, he said the Global Positioning System (GPS), Bionic Prostheses and Microchip — all happened because students and faculty at MIT who chose a different untrodden path.

Almost all inventions including cars, electric bulb, radio, television, computers, Internet, wifi, MRI, laser, robots among others happened because of the “research by Western Universities”, he said reminding the IISc scientists to pause and ask “what the contributions of Indian institutions of higher learning, particularly IISc ans IITs, have been over the last sixty-plus years to make our society and the world a better place? ”

“Is there one invention from India that has become a household name in the globe? Is there one idea that has lead to an earth shaking invention to delight global citizens?” he asked, at the ramparts of IISc where the country’s top scientists work.

Co-founder of the country’s major IT firm Infosys, he said two ideas Infosys gave the world was — Global Delivery Model and 24/7 work culture. Free flow of ideas between our intellectuals and foreign scholars is badly required, he said. “Our younger faculty must have full freedom to pursue their line of research without hindrance.”

However, as every leader and minister does in India, even Narayana Murthy failed to focus on how it could be done with at least one concrete example. As Union Minister Vishnu Vardhan last week exhorted scientists to think out of the box, so is Murthy whipping up the need for innovative ideas in the country.

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