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|May 15, 1998||
Ramanna "elated" over N-tests
Raja Ramanna, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said today that the nuclear tests conducted on Monday and Wednesday had demonstrated that the country could explode smaller devices that could become weapons grade.
Speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of the department of management studies at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, he said he had received details about the explosions from AEC chairman Dr R Chidambaram, and felt elated.
Despite the sanctions and the political consequences, he said people across the country felt more comfortable as the country had now developed the capability and drawn a wonderful experience.
The Indian atomic programme had been facing sanctions right from 1957, and despite this it had build advanced technological devices. Even at that time, the industry responded tremendously and despite the initial teething problems, quality products had been developed, Dr Ramanna said.
He said the nuclear explosions and the domestic reaction to it had proved that the country stood united, forgetting all regional issues. It had also demonstrated that blasts such as those that rocked Coimbatore could not solve the country's problems and relatively other important things were happening in the country.
Dr Ramanna -- who is a member of the AEC board -- said the country was going into the next century at a tremendous pace, and against the backdrop of sanctions unless the countrymen came together it would face problems.
He regretted that students were not keen on doing basic science research. Such major national events should trigger off enthusiasm among the younger generation to take up basic research that would do the country proud.
Speaking on the occasion, IISc director Professor R G Padmanabhan said it would be difficult for the country to get access to technology in areas relating to defence, biotechnology and aerospace, and the country should gear itself up to develop its own technologies if the liberalisation programme had to succeed. The technology that the country could get was only for making potato chips and Coca Cola.
Referring to basic drug exports from the country, he said these would dry up at a later stage unless the country developed its own molecule derivatives to manufacture drugs. Any amount of tinkering with already available drugs for exports would not yield fruit under the strict patent regimes, he said, and called for removing patent illiteracy in the country.
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