Pursue fundamental research, Narayana Murthy tells youngsters Bengaluru, Nov 7 (PTI) IT czar N R

Pursue fundamental research, Narayana Murthy tells youngsters Bengaluru, Nov 7 (PTI) IT czar N R Narayana Murthy onThursday said he wants India to be a place where discoveryand invention happen every month.

Noting that India probably has more problems facing itscitizens than any other country in the world, he stressedonthe need for country's youngsters to pursue fundamentalresearch.

'What kind of research should our youngsters do? Iwantit to be 'an expression of an age as well as an influenceoperating upon both present and future,' as Abraham Flexneronce said.

I want India to be a place where discovery andinventionhappen every month,' Murthy said.

Addressing an event organised to announce the winners ofthe 11th Infosys Prize by Infosys Science Foundation, ofwhichhe is a trustee, Murthy said, our youth deserve toinvent someimportant stuff valuable to India and the world sothat theyare recognised and respected.

'Else, what is our contribution to this world as anationof 1.25 billion people?' he asked.

Pointing at India's own history of advances in Scienceand Mathematics, the Infosys co-founder said, there were manyIndian scientists and mathematicians who did 'earth-shaking'work during the 'golden period' of science and mathematics inIndia from 100 AD to 1400 AD.

'The scientists and mathematicians of the golden era ofIndian science and mathematics were some of the deepest andmost original thinkers of the world of that period,' he said,as he listed the contributions of Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta,Bhaskaracharya, and Madhava.

'The conclusion is that our youth is capable of originalthinking if we create an environment that encourages suchadventures of mind,' he added.

Observing that there were even more important reasonswhyour youngsters have to be encouraged and equipped tobecomecontributors to solving huge problems that confront usevery day, Murthy said, India probably has more problemsfacing itscitizens than any other country in the world.

'Our huge population is a big bottleneck for providingour children with basic education, healthcare, nutrition andshelter,' he said.

Murthy believed that we could find appropriatesolutionsto our problems if we educate the youth to thinkindependentlyto use research and its applications.

He stressed the need to provide full freedom of inquiryand imagination to youngsters who enter the portals of thecountry's higher educational and research institutions.

'These youngsters come in as intelligent, curious,enthusiastic and energetic young men and young women, and theyhave to be nurtured to leave as confident, knowledgeable,daring, open-minded and independent thinkers that will goafter solutions to the problems of our country,' he opined.

Raising several queries like- can our youngstersfind avaccine to chikungunya or dengue? can they find aninexpensivesolution to desalination of sea water? among others, Murthysaid, if our youngsters can find solutions tothese problemsthen they would bring back pride to our people,and to ourfuture generations.

Murthy further said, we have to overcome our'skepticism' about the so-called 'useless knowledge' andstart helping our youngsters pursue fundamental researchenthusiastically.

Also speaking at the event, another Infosys co-founderKris Gopalakrishnan underscored the need for increasing theoverall per cent of spending on research.

'Today India spends 0.6 per cent to 0.7 per cent ofGDPon research. Out of this 0.6 per cent is spent by thegovernment, private sector that includes philanthropy spends0.1 per cent on research.

Developed countries like- US spends3 per cent, Korea 4per cent and China 4-5 per cent.

We have toincrease the overall per cent of spending onresearch,' he said.

Government has made a commitment to increase theirspending to 1 per cent, but the private sector andphilanthropy have to significantly increase above what theyare doing today, he said adding 'the wealth is there, weneedto spend that money.' PTI KSU RSROH ROH