ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Science as Consumption

Science as 'Consumption' The choice of the focal theme of the platinum jubilee session of the Indian Science Congress, "Frontiers of Science and Technology: The Indian Context" is a reflection of the preoccupation of the scientific establishment with the building of individual careers by emulating their counterparts in the industrialised countries. In his presidential address, CNR Rao, chairman of the scientific advisory committee to the prime minister, said that the "frontiers of science and technology are of direct relevance to even the poorest country in the world". He endeavoured to project the private interests of the scientific establishment as the social or national interest. Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, on the other hand, reminded the scientists of the appeal made by Jawaharlal Nehru at the 1947 session of the Science Congress "to wield the scientific weapon to eliminate poverty". Alas, if only science were the magic wand that could eliminate poverty in one stroke, as it were! This is in keeping with the naive approach of the prime minister to all our development problems, one that seeks a 'technical fix' for problems that have their roots in socially exploitative institutions.

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