File photo of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy from an event in Santa Clara, Calif. (Amar D. Gupta | Siliconeer)
In a blunt message, IT czar N.R. Narayana Murthy said, July 15, India has failed to generate even a single “earth-shaking” invention in the past 60 years that could become a household name globally.
None of the Prime Ministers since Jawaharlal Nehru have paid any attention to the need for impactful research from the country, Murthy said while delivering the convocation address at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru.
“Our youngsters have not done much impactful research work despite being equal to their counterparts in intellect and energy in Western universities,” he said.
He referred to the first Prime Minister’s visit to the U.S. in 1962, where he exhorted the about-to-finish PhDs to come back to the country and play a major role in creating an India where a poorest child in the remotest village had access to decent education, healthcare, nutrition and shelter.
The result, he said, was advances in atomic energy, the space program and other areas.
The magic of 60s should be recreated, he said.
“For that we have to recreate an environment of utmost respect for scholarship and for our directors and faculty in the corridors of the government, among bureaucrats, politicians and in our society.
“We have to become more open minded in welcoming foreign intellectuals and students. We have to create opportunities for our students and faculty to spend time at well known universities abroad,” he added.
Almost all inventions such as cars, electric bulb, radio, television, computers, Internet, Wi Fi, MRI, laser, robots and many other gadgets and technology happened, “thanks to the research by Western Universities”, Murthy said.
He added: “On the other hand, let us pause and ask what the contributions of Indian institutions of higher learning, particularly IISc and IITs, have been over the last sixty-plus years to make our society and the world a better place?
“Is there one invention from India that has become a household name in the globe? Is there one technology that has transformed the productivity of global corporations? Is there one idea that has lead to an earth shaking invention to delight global citizens?”
Co-founder of the country’s major IT firm Infosys said: “Folks, the reality is that there is no such contribution from India in the last 60. The only two ideas that have transformed the productivity of global corporations — The Global Delivery Model and the 24-hours workday — came from the company called Infosys.”