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Paranjoy Guha Thakurta (PGT): Dr Mashelkar, let me start with you. The scientific policy resolutions of 1958, it talked about science and technology truly becoming the engines of economic growth and development. Fifty years later where are we, how much have we achieved and what have been our biggest failures?

rocket_Launch.jpg (21573 bytes)Dr Ramesh Anand Mashelkar (RAM): I do personally believe that science and technology in India have delivered a lot… done a lot. Have we delivered to our potential? That is the question and I do believe that we have not, but there are some splendid examples where one has demonstrated time and again that when we are driven, when we are challenged, when exigencies have come, science and technology has delivered. I mean… lets not forget that mid 60s was a time when we talked about ship-to-mouth, we went with a begging bowl and then came the Green Revolution and that Green Revolution was done among many others by our agricultural scientists and then today, we talk of let us say India being the largest rice producer, fourth largest wheat producer, second largest milk producer, first largest fruit producer and all that, that would not have happened if our scientists had not contributed. We have occasions where our heart can swell with pride. Today, lets not forget, that, in spite of being a developing country or poor nation, the most sophisticated satellite that we have is IRS-1C, with a resolution of 5 and half meter, which even the Americans don’t have. How did we do that? One can cite several examples for several areas where this has happened. But your crucial question was on economic development and I do not believe that indigenous science and technology, barring very few noble exceptions, has contributed as much to economic development as one would have desired.