Varsities Have to Support Innovation: DRDO Chief - The New Indian Express

Varsities Have to Support Innovation: DRDO Chief

Published: 20th April 2014 10:24 AM

Last Updated: 20th April 2014 10:37 AM

Though India has emerged as one of the strongest countries in terms of scientific manpower, the country’s universities and institutions should be able to challenge the frontiers of knowledge, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and DRDO chief Avinash Chander said here on Saturday.

Addressing the Third Convocation of Siksha O Anushandhan (SOA) University, Chander said, India has come a long way since Independence - from a mere buyer of technology to one which made significant contribution in science and technology for national development and societal transformation.

Despite its strong scientific and technical manpower base, India was still far behind in creation of intangible assets and ownership of patents, the DRDO head felt. “Time has come to reverse this trend and it is possible only through dedicated programmes for research in the frontier areas of technology, engineering and science,” he added.

Chander observed that higher academic institutions in the country lacked orientation towards research, as a result of which, their standing amongst the top global institutions was not very high. “Our institutions must be able to challenge the frontiers of knowledge. Our Universities have to create an environment supportive of innovation,” he said.

He expressed happiness that Odisha has been the theatre of India’s missile launch campaigns for several decades. Whatever research was conducted anywhere in the country with respect to missile development, ultimately had to be taken to Chandipur or the Wheeler’s Island for its final testing. Many of the Launch Complexes and other Range Stations were located in close proximity to Bhubaneswar which played a vital role in strengthening national deterrence, he said.

Former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Chandrabhanu Satpathy delivered the convocation address. As many as 3,193 students were awarded degrees at the. Two President’s gold medals, 29 university gold medals and as many as 25 PhDs were conferred. 

The university conferred Honoris Causa on Satpathy, Chander, eminent scientist Kota Harinarayana, Professor Emeritus in Neuroscience at Dr MGR Medical University V Nagarajan, Jnanpith Award winner Sitakanta Mahapatra and former Director of IIT Kharagpur Prof KL Chopra.

The Chancellor of SOA University Prof. Khageswar Pradhan presided over the convocation, while Vice-Chancellor Prof. R.P.Mohanty and the Registrar Prof. B.B.Pradhan were also present.

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