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NIO celebrated its 42nd Foundation Day
NIO celebrated its 42nd Foundation Day on 1st January 2008 by organizing a public lecture on "Today's scientific scenario and tomorrow's challenges" by Prof. C.N.R. Rao, National Research Professor and Honorary President & Linus Pauling Research Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. Prof. Rao highlighted some of the scenario of the early 1950's. He said, it was extremely difficult to perform research those days, but yet the outcome was outstanding. There were many individuals interested in research and even Universities were contributing. 50% of research contributions were published by the researchers from various universities. The research facilities since then improved significantly over the years in many of our institutions in India though there is still a need to invest more on the infrastructure. Prof Rao also expressed a sense of satisfaction that even with the drawbacks in the current education system, India has produced a large number of scientists and engineers who have contributed to the science and technology. While addressing current scenario he said "there have been major changes in industrial and technological scenarios all over the world. Globalization has made an extraordinary impact on our lifestyles. The word 'competitiveness' has replaced words like 'self-sufficiency' or 'self-reliance' which has altered society's approach towards science". India is facing competition not only from the advanced countries, but also from our neighbour - China from where the research output has increased multifold today when compared to early years. The important thing that we must learn from China is the investment in the manpower and infrastructure. The difference can be noticed just by examining one single parameter of number of Ph.D.s produced. In conclusion he highlighted again the need for more effort and money in higher education for better science in India from the Government. He also placed a responsibility on the individuals - the Indian citizens, especially young generation. The creativity that lies with individuals is getting drained in to the jobs of routine nature that give better returns. He proposed that the creative brains should accept the challenges in research and shine with the creativity rather than getting attracted to the fat salaries but not the ones that provide mental satisfaction On the second day, the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre (JNC) for Advanced Research and NIO in association with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Goa University organized a programme titled 'Learning Science' for middle school standard students and science teachers. They demonstrated how to teach/learn science so that the subject becomes interesting. This was attended by students from 60 schools across Goa. The selection of schools was based on their performance in 2007 SSC examination. Over 600 students, 70 teachers attended the programme and found it excellent and useful. Each school was provided with a complementary copy of a volume called ?Learning Science? produced by JNC.
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