Academic and research institutions play a crucial role in nation-building and social engineering, said Dr Muraleedharan, director, Directorate of Materials, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), New Delhi.
Muraleedharan said this on Monday while inaugurating a three-day international conference on ‘Materials and characterisation techniques,’ organised by the Centre for Crystal Growth, attached to the School of Advanced Sciences, on the VIT university campus.
He said that by 2025, the country would be contributing two-thirds of employable youngsters to the world community in manufacturing and engineering sectors. He added,“We need to focus on institutions for producing quality and innovative youngsters in this regard.”
Tracing how the country had battled against British imperialism for introducing engineering education, he cited Hindu Banaras University as an example. He said the varsity had introduced the first-ever course in electrical and mechanical engineering. These institutions had become the foundation of active research and development programme for the country, he added.
Muraleedharan explained how the defence materials research labs were employing state-of-the art equipment and technologies to improve property-structure-property relationships and to understand the micro structural revolution and stability aspects.
Dr P Ramasamy, president of the Indian Association of Crystal Growth and former Vice-Chancellor of Alagappa University said the university system had been a special one to promote research by energetic youngsters. The contribution of scientists was not just to promote academic excellence but to benefit society as a whole, he said, citing the example of Roentgen, who had discovered X-rays. “While the Nobel prize was to honour him for his innovation, by rewarding scientists, we are rewarding society,” he said.
Dr V M Chandrasekaran, Dean of the School of Advanced Sciences, said the conference was being held to commemorate the declaration of 2014 as the ‘Year of Crystallography’ by the United Nations.
He said around 800 scientists from across the country and nine other scientists from overseas were participating in the three-day event at VIT.