Research Must Become Integral to Education System: Vice President
Asserting that the attitude of research must become integral to our education system, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said the quality of research in the country's resource institutions determines the pace of nation's development.

He said that children and young adults must be encouraged to ask questions and search for answers.

"If we want to transform our country into a knowledge economy, into a country that harnesses the power of knowledge to transform people's lives, we must focus more sharply on research. Research is the springboard of human progress," Naidu said while interacting with scientists at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) here today.

The "research is the launch pad" for a nation's development trajectory. But the research must be translated into development, he added.

"The quality of research is an important indicator of the quality of an educational system... Children and young adults must be encouraged to ask questions and search for answers. Posing relevant questions and seeking answers must be a way of life", he said. 

The Vice President said that the human civilization has evolved over many millennia by asking questions and seeking answers.

"This process of questioning and seeking solutions lies at the heart of research. Without this quest for deeper understanding of the world around us, no human progress is possible. Research and innovation make us grow. They transform the world we inhabit", he said.

He said that the Indian word for education is 'Vidya', which literally means, "knowing what it is". "Please note that the emphasis is on 'knowing' not on being taught," he said.

"The learners must become active explorers, researchers who try to find out the truth", he said.

About healthcare issues, the Vice President batted for an integrated approach ... putting to effective use all systems of medicine for the benefit of the people.

"India is very strong in various systems of medicine, which are now being acknowledged as effective alternatives to allopathy", he said.

He also lauded the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for "laying foundations of science and technology" in the country.

"We have observed his death anniversary yesterday. I pay my tributes to him," Naidu said.

He said that Nehru strongly felt that integration of science and technology with national planning was necessary to improve the socio-economic conditions of the teeming millions of people of the country.

Vice President said that Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the first Vice-President of CSIR in the independent India and CSIR has also instituted a special fellowship as a tribute to him, namely, 'Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (SPM) fellowship' to commemorate his birth centenary year (2000).

He said that every religion has a body of values and moral prescriptions for it's followers to abide by. In the absence of this "disciplining force and code of conduct," it would be difficult to enforce 'social order' on such a large scale in the society.

Naidu said that scientific advancements have brought certain challenges to human kind like nuclear warfare, biological weapons, other means of mass destruction and serious issues of pollution and climate change.

"But this is no ground to discard science and scientific quest. Scientific advancements may illuminate our understanding of the universe. But it is the religion which provides answers to the unexplored universe," he added.

He said that the issues of 'mind and soul' and the relentless internal unrest and lack of internal peace constitute the vast unexplored universe.

"It is the religion which provides some answers to these raging issues", he added.

Naidu said that that Nehru's outlook may make him "agnostic" and some may even call him an "atheist".

"While I pay my tributes to Nehru for promoting the cause of science and scientific spirit, I beg to differ him in the matters of religion and it's utility for humanity. 

"I feel that both science and religion are the tools in the hands of the people in their quest for prosperity and internal peace", he said.