Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala said that India should take inspiration from North Korea and other smaller nations.
The Governor was speaking at the convocation ceremony at IISc and suggested that India should take scientific inspiration from smaller nations. Vala said:
We should take inspiration from Indian Space Research Organisation, from Israel, from Japan and any other nation, including North Korea which is progressing in Atomic Energy.
His comments came at a time when North Korea test-fired an inter-continental ballistic missile and sparked off a worldwide controversy. However, Vala’s true intention was to encourage students to create scientific advancements but was overshadowed by the North Korean example.
Though he may have meant that smaller nations can be inspiring, the inclusion of North Korea is controversial in the current political scenario and India’s diplomatic relations with other nations.
North Korea is a Communist dictatorship whose military ambitions are not only growing but also threatening neighboring countries such as South Korea and Japan.
The Karnataka Governor is no stranger to controversy. In 2015 he was criticized for addressing a joint sitting of the legislature in Hindi, the first one to do so in Karnataka.
Vala also hailed scientist C.N.R. Rao for his contributions to chemistry and his humility. Rao heads the scientific council of the Prime Minister.
President Pranab Mukherjee was also present at the ceremony which awarded 52 medals for academic performance and 625 degrees. President Mukherjee urged the students to focus on developing research in the nation.