Unleash youth’s intellectual content to make India great: Prof C N R Rao

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Mangaluru: Konkani Lokotsav 2017, a three-day festival of Konkani language and culture jointly organised by the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy and Kannada and Culture department kickstarted here at Town Hall on February 10.

Bharat Ratna Prof. C N R Rao made these precious comments while delivering the inaugural Yenepoya Foundation lecture and launching yenepoyanarcotics.org website. Earlier he was conferred with Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Chancellor of Yenepoya University.

Continuing his talk, Dr. Rao rued over the fact that “IITs have remained as IITs” over decades and have not transformed to become like MIT and the country has failed to develop world class universities like Harvard and Cambridge.”

Personally he drew lot of inspiration from Nobel laureate C V Raman and scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, said Dr. Rao and added, “J C Bose missed the Nobel because of colonial rule despite his unparalleled contribution in the field of science during his era.”

Prof. Rao reposed his faith in young India which has 50 million children and said, “Definitely there are atleast 50 great scientists like Faraday, John Murray, Linus Pauling hidden in that population somewhere.”

Modern India would be making great disservice, if it denies opportunities to that budding talent pool, Prof. Rao cautioned.

Most great men Including Gandhi, John Murray, Linus Pauling and others in that league faced hardships beyond imagination in their lives only to reduce others suffering, Prof. Rao explained. John Murray performed 22 surgeries to give “new life” to the victim who wanted to his end his life soon after his body was burnt beyond recognition in an aircraft crash whereas Linus Pauling rose from poverty being a daily wager struggling to take care of his mother to win two Nobel prizes later, narrated Prof. Rao holding the audience spellbound. He gave similar instances and named great men like Shankaracharya and J C Bose who crossed their frontiers to achieve the “impossible against odds.”

Young doctors have made a vital decision by aiming high and that “decision to succeed” will help one realise their dreams as most great men succeeded because they decided to succeed in their lives, Prof. Rao said continuing to explain about the path ahead for exuberant youth.

Science runs 24/7 and the relentless flow cannot be stopped at any stage and hence cannot be compared with cricket, Prof. C N R Rao stated. Science has no limits when one starts climbing the ladder with ambition, aspiration to attain excellence, he quoted and asked the young audience “not to give up” and work on research to make a difference.

Appreciating the initiative of Yenepoya Group which has made significant progress, Prof. Rao said, “We should never get tired of this world as we can do everything possible here to serve mankind”, Dr. Rao ended exhorting the cheerful gathering of students and doctors.

Dr. Rao with 66 years of experience in research and having worked for 58 years as professor with actual h-index of 136 and over a lakh of citations to his credit was a “bundle of energy” during the programme with his wife Indumathi Rao, a perfect foil with humility written all over.

In his Presidential remarks, Y Abdullah Kunhi, Chancellor of Yenepoya University, highlighted the achievements of the university and recalled the contributions made by many in the past including family members. The Foundation Lecture will be an annual event during February in future, he said, where public, scientists and clinicians will get an opportunity to interact with the University. He stressed on the need to eliminate substance abuse to save the future of youth and dealt on the road, “from Dope to Hope” through his website yenepoyanarcotics.org for all “those who need a way out.”

Dr. M Vijakumar, Vice Chancellor, welcomed the gathering. Dr. Indumathi Rao was felicitated by Nasreen Abdullah on the occasion. Dr. Shreekumar Menon proposed a vote of thanks where Y Mohammed Kunhi, Chairman ,IAE and YMK Foundations too was present. Febrauary 11,2017 was described as a Red-Letter Day in the history of Yenepoya University which attained deemed university status in 2008 by comperes Dr. Mallika Shetty and Dr. Rouchelle Tellis.

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