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PGT: Dr Uberoi you just heard what Dr Mashelkar has to say. Where do you feel, why, what were the reasons, to use his language, "we have not been able to use science and technology to its full potential"?
Dr Jitendra Pal Singh Uberoi (JPS): Teamwork. We seem to have reached a paradoxical situation in the years of Independence, that the excellence of individual Indian scientists in India, working in India or abroad, is well recognized. And we are all justly proud, not only of Hargobind Khurana but also, I, as a migrant from what is now Pakistan, also, Abdusalaam, and the two of them come from the same place. Both have won Nobel Prizes. But when it comes to teamwork any kind of collective scientific endeavour I think on record is not so admirable.
PGT: Why, why is that individual scientists have excelled but they have failed to work as teams? What according to you could have been the main reasons why this has happened?
JPS: Something in our culture and social system encourage the development of individual excellence but not we dont give so many prizes for team-work as we should. In the first generation after Independence it was sufficient to replace the British in different institutions at the head, and there we did very well in the first generation. But in the second generation where the question was how to collectivize those institutions and make them truly independent, we were not so successful. The Science Policy Resolution is not the beginning of either of these two paradoxical trends. I would take you back to Raja Rammohan Roy who is rightly regarded as the founder of modern India and in 1823, he wrote, saying that the transplantation of the arts and sciences of Europe to India was the aim of our educational policy and I see the fulfillment of that end in the University. I have a different perspective for Dr Mashelkar, he sees, hes in a large organization which is concerned with, acting as a link between the world of knowledge and the world of practical affairs whereas I am only concerned with the transmission of knowledge and there I feel that, the quality of Indian scientists is higher than the quality of Indian scientific journals.