Chintamnai Nagesa Ramachandra Rao (C.N.R. Rao), who has been awarded Bharat Ratna, has expressed his admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a recent interview, he said that PM Modi is a man with vision and there is no doubt that he wants to do something.
“He is obviously a doer when you listen to him; there is nothing wrong in what he says. What he says is perfect. Except that, we have to do many of those things,” said Rao. Rao, who is the head of the defunct Scientific Advisory Council to the PM, hopes that the prime minister finds right people to handle larger problems of the society. He told PTI:
“Using science, we have to solve pressing problems of poverty while competing with rest of the world. If all these things India has to do then PM Modi needs to know what the priorities are, how do we proceed what do we work on. I do hope he will get the right advice and get some kind of a group of people to advise him, I do hope and pray that he will do that.”
Regarding science as the foundation of all societies, Rao said that without science and higher education, India cannot become a leader in the world.
Author of more than 1,000 research papers and 45 scientific books, Rao emphasized that PM Modi should support science. “Modi should help good institutions with minimum funds that will not denude them from the basic effort that is going on. He should also fund simple small science in a big way like for diseases, for new energy technologies and new advanced materials. Selective but major funding is required,” he added.
Recollecting ordeals of his time, he said that he got most of the funding for his work from somewhere else and not from India. “It is very unfair that India has not done that,” he said. Further, he urged PM Modi to go on a ‘mission mode’ to help the poor people of India. He said:
“Long ago we had mission mode for technology solutions, like better quality seeds, safe drinking water, like mission for eradicating illiteracy, like getting rid of malaria. Mission mode projects are what Modi should start.”
Given that, many Indians are very religious, Rao warned that people should not confuse between religion, faith, superstition and science.
“Faith everybody should have for one thing or the other. If somebody has faith in philosophy or God, I have nothing against it; however, it should not give rise to superstition. Religion also you can have any religion, but do not mix it up with other things in life,” he said. On the row over rising intolerance in the country, Rao said that India is not intolerant. He said:
“No, India is not becoming intolerant. [Some] intolerance is there in society; fortunately, a majority of Indians are tolerant.”