Sunday, November 17, 2013


// Asserting that science was the way to go forward, Rao said though the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru believed in it, support for science is, unfortunately, not as good as it should be.// C N R rao

Nehrus Scientific Plan for India:

Science has brought all these mighty changes and not all of them have been for the good of humanity. But the most vital and hopeful of the changes that it has brought about has been the development of the scientific outlook in man.
- —Jawaharlal Nehru

The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.
Jawaharlal Nehru

If not for Nehru India would be still lagging behind in science. can you imagine any prime minister taking so much keen interest and travelling across India. If not for Nehru we would be even behind in science, patel unified India in one way, Nehru unified it in another way.

//Nehru promoted the growth of science in every conceivable way. He travelled the length and breadth
of the country to open laboratories, to attend scientific meetings, and notably the Indian Science Congress at
the beginning of each year.//

//He supported the aspirations of major players -- Homi Bhabha, to develop the Indian atomic energy programme, which later nurtured the Indian space programme; S.S.Bhatnagar, to create the chain of laboratories of the CSIR; P.C.Mahalanobis, to generate the base of statistics in terms of research, training and application as an enabling tool, particularly for  planning; and D.S.Kothari to initiate work in defence research which grew into the Defence Research Development Organization.
The high point of what Jawaharlal Nehru did for science was embodied in the Scientific Policy Resolution,
adopted by the Government of India on March 4, 1958 (see annexure I). It was a fairly unique statement thenfor any country, leave alone a developing country.//

During the years that Nehru was Prime  Minister, there was massive quantitative expansionof the educational system at all levels -- from primary schools to universities. However, a significant major initiative was the setting up of some unique institutional systems, namely, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which are academic, degree-granting institutions, but set apart from the normal university system. The IITs, primarily based on the Sarkar Committee Report, were designed to be the leaders in the field of technical education. Nehru remarked: While it is relatively easy to put up a factory or a plant or a project, it is much more difficult and it takes much more time to train the human being that will run a factory or plant

 Nehru was instrumental in laying the foundations for building the infrastructure for science and
technology in India – the Universities, the IITs, the CSIR labs, etc. These became the 'hardware' of
science and technology in India, while Scientific Temper among the people of India was to be the
‘software’. In 1976, India became the first countryto include in its Cons
titution 'Scientific Temper with humanism' as a fundamental duty of all citizens of the country [Article 51-A(h)].`

Why Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s concept of ‘scientific temper’ is very critical to the future of our children?

The future belongs to science and those who

But what did he mean by scientific temper? Srirupa Roy in her book “Beyond belief: India and the politics of postcolonial nationalism” notes that Nehru’s emphasis on the need for scientific temper predated independence (p.123). The features of scientific temper were mainly two-fold as Roy elaborates:
1. Scientific temper referred to a mentality or an outlook rather than a specialized body of knowledge. It addressed itself to universalist concerns of “values of life” rather than to narrow and specialized questions of scientific research and application (Roy, p.124)
2. Unlike scientific expertise alone, the project of scientific temper was a call for the diffusion of “science mindedness” throughout the population. The growth of scientific temper was measured by the extent to which ordinary people were using the methods of science to life’s problems (Roy, p.125)

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