Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy on Tuesday said that the death of 66 children in Gambia due to a India-made cough syrup has brought unimaginable shame to the country and also dented the credibility of the country’s pharmaceutical regulatory agency.
Mr. Murthy, while delivering the opening address to announce the Infosys Prize 2022 which is given by Infosys Science Foundation, said: “The death of 66 children in Gambia has brought unimaginable shame to our country and has dented the credibility of our pharmaceutical regulatory agency.”
Mr. Murthy also said that though the country has had a healthy run in scientific and technological progress in the last 20 years, there were still a few challenges.
Not in top 250
“There is still not a single Indian Institution of higher learning in the top 250 of the World global ranking that was announced in 2022. Even the vaccines we have produced are either based on technologies from other advanced countries or based on research from the developed world. We have still not produced a vaccine for dengue and chikungunya which have been ravaging us for the last 70 years. I can say with authority because I am involved with a project for finding a vaccine for dengue,” said Mr. Murthy who is also the trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation.
He also said that money is not the primary resource for success in invention and innovation. “How else can you explain the success of east European countries in mathematics?” he said.
He said that there are two other critical components for success in research. ”The first is to reorient our teaching in schools and colleges towards questioning and relating what they learn in the classroom to the real world problems around them. Even our IITs have become victims of this syndrome thanks to the tyranny of coaching classes. The second step is for our researchers to focus on solving our immediate problems and such a mindset, in my opinion, will inevitably lead to solving bigger challenges,” he said.