The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) on Friday launched a prodigy fellowship program that provides talented SSLC and class 12 students, Rupees 50,000 and five-year mentoring from experts in India and the United States. The inauguration was headed by Prof CNR Rao.
In the inauguration speech by Prof CNR he reportedly said, “Getting 100 out of 100 in every examination is not a good thing as it shows that you are not thinking. Every idea is a sapling that will lead to forests, which in turn will lead to continents of science. Thinking needs to be constant. Science is interpretative and every scientist is different. There is no classroom for creativity, but we can create an atmosphere.”
Continuing on the same lines, he further clarified the common obsession of students and their respective parents with performing well in examinations. He laid emphasis on the fact that getting a good salary job after education should not be the primary aim for the students and that they should inculcate the practice of thinking creatively in their routines well. He said, “I never bothered about money. Only those who publish regularly get recognized. As for me, the day I stop publishing is the day I die.”
The fellowship, on the other hand, is quite unique when compared to other fellowships around the world and that it is not given on the basis of any examinations. It is awarded to 10 deserving students from several places like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Gauribidanur. Each of these students is given a whopping amount of 5 lakh Rupees as part of funding their research.
The Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space and Research Organization) which is one of the most recognized organizations all around the world, lauded Prof CNR Rao when he said, “Prof Rao has shown us the way to utilize our potential. We must all learn from his example as a better role model.”
Prof CNR Rao has been awarded one of the most prestigious awards that can be bestowed upon an individual by India, the Bharat Ratna. He also has honorary doctorates from over 60 universities around the world and has been the publisher of over 1500 research papers and 45 scientific books. He was also awarded the Japan’s Highest Civilian Award in 2015. Prof Rao currently, serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.
Hearing such words from such an established scientist in his field surely makes you think about the current Indian education system twice. The system that has been built upon a tall mountain of examinations and an engine that is fuelled by marks in an examination and not the passion or talent of the student for a particular subject.