GUWAHATI, Oct 14 - �The North Eastern region of the country has good quality basic raw materials (students) for developing future scientists. But what is needed the most is the motivation and directions to develop scientific temperament within these potential talents, so that they become inclined to research activities in advanced science,� said director of the Mohali-based Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Prof Ashok K Ganguli, while talking to this correspondent on the sidelines of an outreach programme -- NEED-INST -- with school students at the Gauhati University (GU) Phanidhar Dutta Seminar Hall here Tuesday.
Prof Ganguli maintained that of late, although at a very slow pace, resurgence is taking place among the high school and college students of the country towards studying science.
This change may be attributed to the fact that obtaining mere engineering degrees is not enough to secure good jobs. Again, a lot of fellowships became available in India for undertaking science in undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels during the past few years.
But when one is to speak on the overall scenario concerning the general awareness among the students on science, the situation is nothing but miserable. Ninety five per cent of the students are keen on carrying out studies either in engineering or in medical sciences. A mere five per cent of them think of taking up science subjects in the college and university levels.
Only this section of our school students is aware of the existence of the subjects like marine biology. This awareness is attributable to some of the family members of the students belonging to this microscopic section, he said.
Describing the present era as that of biomimetics, or the bio-inspired science, Prof Ganguli said that our students should be taught that the super hydrophobic surfaces of the lotus leaves speak of the flowering plant�s self-cleaning process. Humanity is learning this process from lotus.
School students get excited when scientific topics are explained to them in an interesting manner. The natural phenomena, the objects they are using in their day-to-day life should be explained to them in an engrossing manner, said the professor.
Even if a small percentage of our students gets interested in science, it will lead to creation of thousands of such students in future. We are to sow the seeds of potential scientists and science teachers. We are to provide a favourable environment so that they can grow and create a forest of future scientists and bring about a revolution in modern technology for the country, enabling it provide pure drinking water, modern healthcare facilities, best transportation facilities, food and proper environment and over all good quality of life to its people, he said.
The country needs to become self-reliant. For that it needs to develop advanced technology indigenously and without a strong scientific base, it cannot aspire for that, he asserted.
At present, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are supplying most of the science students to our institutions of higher education. This is because of the cultural level of the people of these provinces, he said.
Prof Ganguli delivered a lecture on � �Imagine life without science� � and interacted with around 200 students drawn from various city schools on issues concerning science and technology, under the North East Educational Development (NEED) programme as part of the INST�s outreach plan.