Create favorable environment to innovate: Mundie

By : |October 10, 2007 0

BANGALORE: "Innovation is the only way forward. A country has to build favorable environment to foster innovation and investment in India and elsewhere," said Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer.

"With all the pressure be it political, economic or environmental issues, a country should form a long term vision of how to create a community of learning engineers base, who in turn would be the one to find solutions for existing problems," Mundie said at the concluding session on ‘Research and Innovation’ at India is Innovation event organized by Microsoft.

Dr R.A. Mashelkar, ex-director general of CSIR, agreeing with Mundie, said, "Engineering of the future will be done by engineers. Be it global warming, climate changes or any other issue, it is the engineers who provide solutions."

Mundie said that interesting challenge the US faces today is that the large part of the population does not celebrate engineering and its engineers. "They would rather associate themselves with Tiger Woods or Britney Spear than Bill Gates unlike in China where Bill Gates is everyone’s idol."

"India, as develops and begins to have a comfortable lifestyle like western countries, will go down the same path," he said.

"Politicians in a democracy are driven by electorate and the electorate is driven by cricket and entertainment and not calculus. This is a serious problem at large,” grieved Mundie. “What is missing now is the celebration of the engineers."

Most of the engineers are now by their personal choice. The curiosity, skills and ability to go beyond is innate and cannot be trained. The education system should as such that it should provide base training at first level and at second level provide specialized training based on individual’s expertise, Mundie added.

Sharing his experiences that influenced him to take up engineering as a profession, Dr R A Mashelkar, added that education is a process of learning to learn. The interaction of students with parents and teachers has to be constructive. “Fundamentals in the Indian society have to be set in place to nurture a scientific bend of mind.” he added.

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