"Long term success of India will depend on investment in education," said Bharat Ratna Prof. CNR Rao, National Research Professor, Honorary President & Linus Pauling Research Professor Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research as he stressed on the importance of education while addressing a gathering at Kristu Jayanti College on October 8, 2015.
Prof. Rao was giving an expert lecture on "Doing Science in India" for the Silver Jubilee edition of Vichaarmanthan, an interactive session with global and Indian visionaries. The event has seen a lot of eminent personalities over the years including former President Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who spoke at the inaugural edition.
The other dignitaries on the dais were Rev. Fr. Josekutty PD, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College; Fr. Augustine George, Vice Principal; Fr. Lijo P Thomas, Financial Administrator; Prof. Aloysius Edward J, Dean, School of Management; Dr. Calistus Jude AL, Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Dr. Elcey CD, Head, Department of Life Sciences.
Prof. Rao observed that India's investment in education is only 2% of GDP, which in contrast with countries like China and South Korea (around 8% of GDP), is very low. He said that he continues to stand by his recommendation for the National Policy on Education on investing 8% of GDP that he made during the time of Mr. P V Narshima Rao as Education Minister.
He said that the value system in a society determines how far it goes. He stressed on research on the frontiers of science, saying the "research done by little people in little labs is what changes the face of science." However, the investment for science in India is only 0.8% whereas it is around 4% for South Korea.
Prof. Rao is of the opinion that on an average, Indians do not work hard enough. He said that it is his hard work that enabled him to publish over 1500 research papers, with his 50th book ready to be released. He even said that he was the most cited Indian author, with an h-index of 123.
Citing examples from the life of Michael Faraday, he showed that "anyone from any background can do great things." He further said that two of his best students were from the poorest of backgrounds.
He further exhorted the students to inculcate values such as time management, simplicity and selflessness. He expressed his view that India has lost the value of time, and cautioned that the future of India depends upon what we do in the next 10 to 15 years.
Taking the renowned musician, Bismillah Khan's life as an example, he illustrated the value of simplicity in the midst of greatness. He further urged the students to be selfless saying that selflessness leads to fearlessness, and those who are fearless are the ones who run this world.