Bharat Ratna recipient Professor C N R Rao said the countrymen should not tolerate substandard education.
“We live in a highly intolerant society. Whether it is about religion or caste, we are intolerant of something or the other. Then why are we tolerating mediocrity in education? I think social revolution in India should be (about) better quality of education. We should all come together and demand better quality education from schools, colleges and the government,” Rao said.
It was his first visit to the metropolis after receiving the highest civilian award of the land. He was speaking after a civic felicitation at the hands of Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan.
Young graduates were making a lot of money, but had stopped applying their minds, he said.
“I am ashamed to say that I come from a city (Bangalore) which has now become number one in ranking for the number of rapes and suicides. It is unbelievable. 3,000 suicides in the last year. People are making a lot of money but they have lost their minds,” he said.
Rao also released a study on the status of science education in India’s colleges, titled ‘Whither science education in Indian colleges? Urgent reforms to meet the challenges of a knowledge society’, on this occasion.
The eminent scientist, who has written the foreword to the report, highlighted the need for promotion of science as a career.
“It is time the new government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a serious note of the languishing science education and initiate comprehensive reforms,” he said.
Science does not depend on government grants and it would grow whether or not the government gave funds, he said.
He also said that instead of focusing only on textbooks, children should be made aware of the vast cultural history of India and value of the contributions of scientists.
“Blindly learning from textbooks means nothing,” he said.