Top scientist bats for higher research funding

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 16:00 hrs

Bangalore, Dec 6 (IANS) C.N.R. Rao, chairman of the science advisory council to the prime minister, was in discussions with the central government to increase funding to enhance research output, Planning Commission member and space scientist K. Kasturirangan said here Thursday.

"Rao is currently in talks with the government to increase funding to boost research output, which in turn will play a major role in driving innovation in science and technology," Kasturirangan, a former Indian Space Research Organisation chief, said at a nanotechnology event here.

As a scientific advisor, Rao is also working with state governments across the country to enhance research work in collaboration with international institutions in new areas of science, especially nanotechnology, which has become applicable in agriculture, environment, healthcare and medicine.

"With the efforts of Rao, we have been able to enrich science education and research. The plan panel has recommended special funds for research in nanotechnology, in which India has recently climbed to sixth position from ninth though our contribution to global research work is still around three percent," Kasturirangan said at the fifth edition of 'Bangalore Nano' event.

Noting that nanotechnology had a crucial role in achieving sustainable growth due to its applications in every sphere, he said the nanotechnology vision was to help the country grow faster and increase the contribution of science and technology to the GDP (gross domestic product) by two percent, with one percent each coming from state-run research institutes and the private sector.

In his address to a gathering of scientists, technocrats, experts and officials at the inaugural session, Rao said many exciting things were happening in the science field, especially in nanotechnology, thanks to extensive research worldwide, innovation and developing products with nano materials.

"For instance, the enormous quantity of heat generated from grapheme can be efficiently used as energy. Similarly, when gold and copper particles in water are exposed to sunlight, nano particles in the two elements (gold and copper) absorb the sunlight and produce heat energy through nanotechnology," Rao asserted.

Highlighting the research conducted and products developed using nanotechnology and nano materials, he said scientists in the US were jointly developing 'Nano Nose' to detect breast cancer by identifying the unique molecule by its patients.

"Rapid developments in nanotechnology will result in the increasing use of nano-based applications in heathcare over the next five-six years. In medicine, tissue engineering is being used to treat seventh degree burns," Rao observed.

The fifth Nano National Award 2012 was conferred on G.U. Kulkarni, professor of chemistry and nanoscience at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) on the city's outskirts.

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