Maintaining that revolutionary inventions and discoveries have changed science globally, the Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota, Mr. P. Kunhikrishnan said that space research and technology has taken India to a level internationally that the country can be proud of. “The perfection with which we fulfill is the pride of every Indian”, Mr. Kunhikrishnan remarked. He was the Chief Guest at the Sixth Edition of Research Day at SRM University, Kattankulathur Campus. “The journey of ISRO was not smooth but we now have a centre of excellence with a rare blend of technology and nature”, he added.
Mr. Kunhikrishnan recalled his association with a group of students and faculty of SRM University that culminated in placing SRMSAT, a nano-satellite in 2011. “ I am really proud of you all. It is not easy to build a satellite that has done thousands of orbits” he said going on to make the point “you may stumble in between, but failures are not the end of the road. Fresh ideas bring about fresh solutions”. Advances in space research and technology have made rich contributions to the development of society as well he said going on to mention areas such as communications, remote sensing, tele medicine and weather forecasting.
Investments in science do not bring about immediate returns said Professor N. Balakrishnan, Honorary Professor in the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and Supercomputer Education and Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. “The returns in Science come late but when they come it is with a thundering effect. Putting money in research is far less riskier than starting an airline, for example. Investment in science is not philanthropy” he said. Professor V. Chandrashekar, Director, National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, argued that that it was extremely important for a country like India to encourage basic sciences. “The fruits will come later”, he said. Talking on Sir C.V. Raman and the Raman Effect, Professor Chandrashekar pointed out that Sir Raman was not only deeply passionate about science but also very nationalistic. “He called for the destruction of the defeatist spirit”, he said.
The Chancellor of SRM University, Dr. T.R. Paarivendhar stressed the importance of research and invention in an academic institution. “ A University is rated on the research work they do. We have to be serious for we have to maintain our name. Everybody has to do some research. We have to thrive and you can”, the Chancellor said. Calling Research an ongoing process and not something of a one day affair to be celebrated, the President of SRM University, Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan said that research is not confined to higher education only. “ Research should be encouraged from primary education. The curiosity and inquisitiveness of the mind should be encouraged”, he remarked.
“ Teaching and Research are the two pillars of a University. Research is vital to University and to society. Research is an essential part of University life” said SRM University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Prabir K Bagchi. In his welcome address, the Director of Research at SRM University, Dr. D. Narayana Rao said that expanding the frontiers of science is the top priority of educational institutions. “Science is a limitless ladder. Science and Technology is the established currency in the geo-political world” he said going on to call for more focus on improvement of standards and more freedom from the clutches of regulation. “SRM University gives opportunity to students to fulfill their dreams and passions, Dr. Rao said.
Dr. S.V.Kasmir Raja, Dean of Research SRM University proposed the vote of thanks.