SHIMOGA: “Despite being on a par with most developed countries in development of science and technology, we have not been able to solve our basic problems. This means that we have failed to utilise our technological prowess properly,” said former ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair.
Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 42nd Rotary District Conference ‘Nithyotsava-2012’ at Sharavathi Dental College here on Saturday, Dr Nair said the problems in India were unique in nature.
He said healthcare, education, water and energy in rural areas needed immediate attention. “A majority of the wealth is concentrated in just 10 per cent of the nation’s population. The rich continue to be rich and the poor remain poor due to inequitable distribution of wealth. If this issue is not addressed, we cannot hope to stand alongside the developed nations,” he added.
Dr Nair rued that the passion to pursue science and technology as a career had largely dwindled due to better-paying jobs in multi-national companies. “The government cannot match the pay scales being offered by such companies. This has resulted in more than 1,500 posts lying vacant in various institutions,” he said.
Developments in space science had helped in disaster management, agriculture and policy making and revolutionised television through DTH, Dr Nair said, and added that developments such as tele-medicine and tele-education had opened up new avenues.
“Tele-education has connected thousands of schools in far away places, and is truly a success story in the country. All this has been possible because of science and technology,” he said.
The space scientist dwelt on the need to focus on how technology could be used to solve these problems. “The government has been doing its best, but there should be synergy between it and private institutions,” he said.