Addressing the CII Lifesciences conclave, K Vijay Ragahvan said the pandemic has brought science agencies together in an extraordinary manner
Ninety-percent of India's students go to colleges and universities where there is little research, which has to be rectified, principal scientific advisor to Centre K Vijay Ragahvan said on September 17.
Addressing the CII Lifesciences conclave, Vijay Ragahvan said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought science agencies together in an extraordinary manner. He mentioned that the country's research ecosystem has a robust spread-out -- the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), Department of Science Technology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) -- which is "absolutely mind-boggling".
These institutes have an enormous intellectual, material and other infrastructure resources and these capabilities have to be leveraged, he noted.
"90% of the research support goes to those laboratories where 10% of our students go. 90% of our students go to universities/colleges where there is little research. Yet, they are literally just a stone's throw away from the best places of research and this is something that has to be rectified," the official said.
If all agencies partner, the national lab network of resources can be available both to the industry and to these colleges and universities, Raghavan suggested.
Other countries are also trying this, but they will not be trying it on the scale that is possible in India because of its population and network of laboratories which can be connected, he said. "This is something we must embark on," he stressed. The Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) also added the bondage of unnecessary multiple kinds of regulations needs to go. Reform in the space of academia and industry, regulation, university and research - all these are constant processes, he added.
Talking about the partnership between industry and the country's science agencies during the pandemic, Raghavan said now as the pandemic declines “we cannot go back to our old ways. Our science and industry must walk in step together”.