Monday, December 15, 2008

Two stamps in honour of IISc 14th Dec, 2008!!

Vice-President Ansari releases them to mark institute’s centenary year

luminaries: Vice-President Hamid Ansari at a function to release IISc centenary commemorative stamps at J.N. Tata Auditorium in Bangalore on Sunday. Director of IISc P. Balaram (left) and scientist C.N.R. Rao are seen.

BANGALORE: That the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has left its stamp of excellence is science need not be emphasised. So it was appropriate that the Department of Posts marked the institute’s centenary year on Sunday by bringing out two commemorative postal stamps here on Sunday.

The stamps were released by Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, who also delivered the golden jubilee lecture.

While one stamp captured the frontage of the iconic IISc building, the other comprised a collage of various scientists and academics from the pages of its history.

From founder Jamsetji N. Tata to its former Director C.V. Raman, the stamp carries the visage of several IISc luminaries.

Mr. Ansari spoke about the importance of basic sciences and the various hurdles that the scientific community must overcome to strengthen the knowledge-based society.

“To attain this goal that we have set, we need an enhanced level of access to knowledge, and the IISc must remain a torchbearer in this regard,” he said.

Charting the scientific goals of the country since the first decade of Independence, Mr. Ansari said that though notable landmarks had been reached, several gaps remained. Calling for “inspiring teaching and better role models”, he said that the Knowledge Commission’s findings called for creation of a culture of experiment-based learning, which required re-training of teachers.

The University Grants Commission’s sample survey of 47 universities showed an overall vacancy level of 51 per cent, Mr. Ansari pointed out. “The situation is particularly depressing in State universities, where almost 90 per cent of students are enrolled. This adds to the problem of quality in higher education,” he said.

He also spoke about the Knowledge Commission’s reference to the disconnect between the educational institutions and centres of research and development. “The disconnect is at two levels, between undergraduates and senior faculty, and teachers and researchers. This results in the young student being deprived of that which may fire his/her imagination,” he said. Governor Rameshwar Thakur, scientist C.N.R. Rao, Director of National Institute of Advance Studies K. Kasturirangan, IISc Director P. Balaram, Home Minister V.S. Acharya and Chief Post Master General of Karnataka M.P. Rajan were present.

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