An Indian Scientist’s Dream

I adore R. A. Mashlekar, the former Director General of CSIR. He is a scientist. He is a good writer too, on the subject of general interest. Recently, a book of his writings and speeches- ‘Reinventing India’ got published. I tried to get a copy from the bookshops here in Noida, but couldn’t succeed. One bookshop asked me about the publisher’s name. I found out the publisher was not the popular one such as Penguin or some big foreign name, but one from Pune who publishes mainly the books in vernacular. I couldn’t obtain the book. Perhaps, it is out of stock at the moment. I couldn’t understand why Mashlekar selected the Pone publisher and not one of the better known one.

During my stay in US in 2010, I had gone through the article on innovation written by Mashlekar with Late CK Prahalad in HBR where I came across the concept of Gandhian Innovation. RA Mashlekar always inspires.

I have also a dream to see India as a super power through innovations. I wish to see a day when all working persons from the paddy fields to the R&D centres understand and contribute with some innovations. At least some will be real breakthroughs that will make India visible in global arena. And for that I would have liked the inclusion of an easy-to-understand course material on entrepreneurship and innovation for school final stage.

But let me provide here the dream of R.A. Mashlekar that appeared in one of his writings.

What would be my dream for Indian Science and India in the early part of the new millennium, say for the twenty first century?Obviously, it is of an India, where the basic needs of the teeming millions will be fulfilled and we will move on to the top ladder of the World Human Development Index.

What would be the possiblethat Indian Science & India will get in the next century? In my dream,I surfedthe net and landed at the portal.

I clicked on ‘ Nobel Awards’, and I saw
‘Indians won three Nobel prizes this year. The first one in physics is for the grand unified theory of matter and their interactions. The second one is in Physiology and medicine, for providing the first definitive neuro-biological basis ofthe humancognitive phenomena. The third Nobel Prize in economics was sharedby an Indian Scientist and Indian economist working in India, a country, which has already assumed the position of a knowledge super power by capturing 30% share of the global output of the global knowledge industry. They won the Nobel Prizefor their work in Economics of Traditional knowledge, which beautifully blended economics, science, philosophy and ethics.

I clicked on‘Community Health’, and I saw
India became the first country in the world to completely eradicate Tuberculosis.

One more click on‘Indian Pharma Industry’ showed
‘The anti-ulcer drug, whichwas basedon a molecule derived from the clues from India’s traditional knowledge, maintained its leading global position andposted global sales exceeding five billion dollars.

I clicked on ‘Water’, and I saw
‘ Through a sustained effort of Indian scientists, engineers and technocrats, India has succeeded in creating a unique ‘Indian Water Network’, which connects all the Indian rivers and through innovative methods of water capture, recharge of aquifers etc., Indiabecame the first country in the world to reach perpetual ‘Water Security’.

A further click on ‘Disaster Management’ showed
‘ The recent earthquake on eightRichter scale in Assam had zero loss oflife, thanksto the advanced warning systems developed by Indian scientists and immaculate disaster management systems set up by the Indian government.’

One more click on ‘Energy‘ showed‘ The Prime Minister ofIndia, during the inaugural session of the 100th ‘ Indian Knowledge Congress’, formerly known as ‘ Indian Science Congress’ formally released the Indian technology to harness the massive gas hydrates in the Indian oceans, which will cater to the Indian energy needs for the next two hundred years’.

And the final click on ‘Research Opportunities’ showed ‘Indian brain drain has been completely reversed this year. In fact India is in an enviable position of having a queue American and European scholars to join its unique global knowledge production centres in India’.

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