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Involve undergraduate students in research: expert

By Our Special Correspondent

GULBARGA, NOV. 14. G.P. Kothiyal, head of the Glass and Ceramic Technology Division, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), today expressed concern over the waning interest among the students in pure sciences in the wake of poor job opportunities.

Delivering the inaugural address of an experimental workshop organised by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) at the Doddappa Appa Auditorium here, Dr. Kothiyal said many students preferred engineering and medical courses to those in pure sciences.

It was true that job opportunities for those pursuing courses in pure sciences in higher education were limited, he said.

He said that it was the duty of scientists and science teachers to provide a proper perspective of pure sciences to students. The country needed a large number of physicists for research and development in various fields to meet the emerging challenges. Dr. Kothiyal said students should be involved in research and development from the undergraduate level to increase their interest in pure and applied sciences.

He said physics was the mother of all science subjects and had answers to problems in various branches of pure sciences.

The advances made in science and technology and other fields were mainly due to the progress achieved in physics. The subject had contributed a lot for the development of the country and making it self-sufficient in food production, he added.

The head of the Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division, BARC, P.S. Reddy, who delivered the endowment lecture on "Radiation technique in agriculture and food preservation'', said though the country achieved self-sufficiency in the production of cereals, it was yet to meet the demand for pulses. Premier research institutes were now involved in the task of increasing the production of pulses.

He said through DNA and genetically modified plants, the country could not only increase the crop yield but also improve the quality of produce. Golden Rice, a new variety of paddy introduced in the Philippines, had the added value of Vitamin A in it.

He said this would help overcome the problem of Vitamin A deficiency.

One of the recent advances made in the field of edible vaccines was incorporating vaccines such as Hepatitis-B in banana plants to avoid injections, he said.

The president of the Sharanabasaveshwar Vidya Vardak Sangh and Peetadhipathi of Sharanabasaveshwar Samasthan, Poojya Sharanabasawappa Appa, spoke.

The convener of Indian Association of Physics Teachers, M.S. Jogad, welcomed the gathering.

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