Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) Stressing on the importance of critical research relevant to the country, eminent physicist and principal scientific advisor to the Indian government R. Chidambaram Friday said the nation needs to be a part of global mega-science projects.
Speaking at Calcutta University’s annual convocation here, Chidambaram referred to the studies regarding the recent path-breaking discovery of the Higgs Boson, and advocated India’s participation in projects relating to origins of the universe.
“We need excellence in basic research…including directed basic research that is directed towards needs of industry and society in long term.,” he said.
“As a civilised country, we must also participate in global mega science projects aiming to find out, for example, the ultimate structure of matter or the origin of the universe,” said Chidambram.
“India must make its contribution to the origin of universe studies.”
Earlier this year, researchers operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator at Centre for European Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva confirmed that a particle discovered in it is indeed the so-called Higgs Boson, a key element in scientists’ theories explaining the makeup of all the matter around us.
Alluding to India’s role in the epoch-making discovery, Chidambaram said the nation, through the department of atomic energy’s RRCAT-Indore contributed $40 million worth of high-tech equipment, numerous components and some advanced grid software.
Chidambaram, a noted nuclear scientist and metallurgist, has been closely associated with India’s nuclear energy programme, including the second series of nuclear tests at Pokhran (Rajasthan) in 1998.
The scientist batted for use of alternative sources of energy, including nuclear energy, to combat the threat of climate change and depleting natural resources.
“India has to go for nuclear energy in a big way…all energy based options are important for India. There must be a balance between environmental protection and imperatives of economic development.”
Enhancing academia-industry interactions, use of virtual classrooms and bettering manufacturing skills need to be addressed, he said.