BANGALORE: Former Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachalaiah expressed disappointment that India’s representation in the Royal Society was very less, which according to him, posed a big question on the standard of science education in the country.
Speaking during World Books Day celebrations organised by the Department of Public Libraries and Kendra Sahitya Academy on Monday, Justice Venkatachalaiah compared the number of Australian fellows in the Royal Society to the abject presence of Indians in the same league.
“Fellowship of the Royal Society is a benchmark of academic attainment. Australia has 168 fellows, whereas India has a lesser number despite having a population that is 250 times more than Australia. This shows the state of our science standards,” he rued.
Justice Venkatachalaiah, who hailed libraries as “godowns of knowledge,” urged authorities not to lock up libraries and turn them into “godowns of books.” Reminiscing his time at the Supreme Court of India, he said, “The SC has one of the finest libraries in Asia that functions from 10 am to 5 pm. Every day, the library was locked by three big locks. Libraries should not be locked,” he said.
The UNESCO chose April 23 as a date for world literature, as 23 April 1616, was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.
‘Central library needs attention’
Director of the Department of Public Libraries K G Venkatesh called upon the authorities concerned to facilitate the construction of two restrooms in the Indira Priyadarshini State Children’s Library in Cubbon Park. “We were supposed to construct two toilets here. However, the Horticulture Department has not allowed us to do so. How can we expect women and children to walk all the way to the Central Library for recess? Also, we want to construct a new library building as the Central Library turns 100 next year. I hope the officials concerned will take note,” he said.