Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani is in for more criticism. The BJP minister, who has come under fire recently for her comments on the JNU students' agitation and her move to make the hoisting of the national flag mandatory in Central universities, has now said that good research can be done even in low budgets.
Responding to the accusations that funds for research in basic science had been slashed heavily by the BJP-led government at the Centre, Irani said good research was possible even with less funding.
Irani who was addressing students a the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) said, "Bigger money does not mean better science. Millions of dollars are being spent on a fusion experiment in Orange county but the same experiment is being carried out in Bengaluru with just Rs 2 lakh. Youngsters should concentrate on better science with less money," reported Times of India.
She further said, “The myth that Indian institutes do not measure up needs to be broken. The world rankings only take into account research in English and not in Indian languages.“
On the launch of a common website for all six IISERs by Smriti Irani in the country, KN Ganesh, director, IISER said, "This will be a single window point for all information in all six IISERs, including subjects available, the faculty and research projects going on."
However, in August last year, Irani herself had commented that the lack of funding hinders good research projects in India. Speaking in the Lok Sabha last year, Irani had pointed out that in China, research scholars make up 0.08% of the country's population, compared to India where the percentage stands at 0.02%. "Giving this information in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, HRD minister Smriti Irani explained that one of the reasons for less number of research scholars in India is much lower investment on R&D as percentage of the GDP in comparison to China," TOI reported in August last year.
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