Millennium Post

Birthday boy Manmohan talks science and India

Lamenting that India has not been able to make an impact on the world scale in the field of science, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asked scientists to dream big and not to despair.

Addressing the 70th foundation day of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR], Singh said conventional scientific disciplines and approaches were proving unequal to dealing with complex developmental challenges. ‘We have not been able to make an impact on a world scale commensurate with our large scientific manpower pool,’ Singh said addressing scientists.

In his address, which was webcast across all 37 CSIR laboratories, the PM lauded the achievements of the Council over its 70 years of existence but asked them not to rest on the laurels.

‘However, with all our achievements, we cannot rest on our laurels. As a nation, we have not succeeded in mobilising enough private investment into science to raise our investment in scientific research to 2 per cent of GDP,’ Singh said.

He said scientists need to recognise that excellence has not percolated across all the research and academic institutions. Singh said CSIR needed to devote itself to these national challenges in the years to come and will have to take up national leadership in science, engineering and technology. ‘Young scientists must dream big and refuse to despair,’ the Prime Minister said.     


It was normal day for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he turned 80 on Wednesday going about his work like any other day.

Singh, who is known for keeping his birthday a low key affair, started his day by attending the 70th foundation day of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR] here.

Singh, who was born in Gah in Punjab now in Pakistan, says he does not know his actual date of birth but 26 September was given as his birthday by his parents while getting him admitted in a school.

At the CSIR function, he remarked that he shared his birthday with CSIR. ‘We were both born on 26th September. I can think of no better company than this illustrious gathering of men and women of science, with whom to have my first public engagement on this very special day,’ he said.

He received greetings from a number of dignitaries and leaders. Among them was Vice President Hamid Ansari who called him up to wish him on his birthday.

This was the first time in several years that Singh was at home on his birthday. On earlier occasions, he would be travelling to or from New York to attend the UN General Assembly. Last year, he was en route to Frankfurt in Germany on his way back from New York.

On previous such occasions, his birthday was celebrated on board Air India One special flight.   
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