Friday, May 28, 2010

‘World will need new science to face challenges'

REWARD FOR HARD WORK: Baldev Raj, Distinguished Scientist and Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Reserach, Kalpakkam (second right), handing over degree certificate to a candidate at the graduation of the science stream of PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore on Monday. R. Rudramoorthy, Principal of the college, is in the picture.

“Today's world faces many challenges. It requires innovations to overcome these challenges. Climate change is not the only threat. There are many like acidity of oceans, the nitrogen / phosphorus cycle getting disturbed. The world will need a new science,” Baldev Raj, Distinguished Scientist and Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, said here on Monday.

Delivering the graduation day address for the science stream at the PSG College of Technology, he said real science was very different from absorbing science by learning. Real science was learnt by experience / experimenting.


“India, too, is facing many challenges. Only 40 per cent of Indians have faith in science and technology. They believe that we have achieved great heights in scientific creations. The rest have no faith. For them the dream has never begun. Making this group proud of the country's science is the greatest challenge,” Mr. Raj said.

Even though India had a long way to go to become a developed nation, it had the opportunity to grow at a fast pace.

“The U.S. is struggling because it is not competent to face the present economy. China's growth is in shades of grey. Nobody knows how its economy is growing”.

Urging the young graduates to be innovative, he cautioned them to be ready for failures.

“The science you learn is different from the science you will face outside the portals of college. Hence, you are bound to fail. But, do not let the failures deter you. You have to fight till you realise your dream,” he said.

The only way they could overcome failures was by keeping up to date. “Your aim in life should be to harness science through your career. But, so much is happening in science. If you do not read about the latest developments and apply them to your area of work, you will not be successful.

Lamenting that ethics were becoming dearer, Mr. Raj said that though the general perception was that education and hard work brought success, if it was not accompanied by ethics, then it could be not be termed success in the true sense of the word.

“In the earlier days, pursuing scientific research or a scientific career was difficult because the nation's resources were limited. But, now the resources are abundant in India. But, we get very few who are interested in science per se. There is always a question whether to pursue science or branch off into management or any other stream after graduation,” he said.

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