'Idiot comment': Minister agrees with Rao, says funding low for research


A day after the angry outburst from Bharat Ratna awardee scientist CNR Rao, Science and Technology Minister Jaipal Reddy said he agreed with Rao's views that sufficient funds are not being earmarked for scientific research in the country.

"He (Rao) is right because I do not disagree with him. Because the importance of science and technology is so high that any amount government allots is not adequate," Reddy said.

Addressing a press conference after the award was announced, Rao had said on Sunday, "....For the money that government has given to scientific sector, we have done much more.... Why the hell these idiots these politicians have given so little for us. In spite of that we scientists have done something."

Rao's comments drew reactions from many quarters over the funding priority of the government.

Congratulating Rao for the award, Reddy said, "Government has always focused on science and technology. He has been the guide for the Indian science establishment for the last 10 years.

"His views are respected we have been able to spare as much money as possible keeping the financial stringency in view", the minister said.

However, Reddy declined to comment on Rao's "idiots" remark saying "one does not want to comment to all issues."

Former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said funds which were reaching for actual research were low.

"But I will not blame entirely on the government or politicians. Because I have seen the scenario for the last decade or so...the government very flatly announces substantial increase in the funding to the science department," he said.

TMC MP Derek O'brien said, "He (Rao) is an honourable gentleman and recipient of Bharat Ratna. So we shall refrain from making any comment what he said. But obviously after he won the Bharat Ratna, he is entitled to his opinion and we must listen and respect his opinion."

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