Prof Ashutosh Sharma invited by SRM University – AP to deliver lecture on “Art of Science in the Time of Virus and Beyond: The Brave New World”

SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh invited Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India to deliver the University Distinguished Lecture. Prof K Hema Chandra Reddy, Chairman, Andhra Pradesh State Council Of Higher Education, Prof V S Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor, faculty members, and more than 700 participants attended the lecture on “Art of Science in the Time of Virus and Beyond: The Brave New World”. For the first time, SRM AP presented welcome bouquet and virtual memento to Prof. Ashutosh Sharma. The virtual avatars were created by SRM AP students who used applications developed by them such as character creator and bundle software. Further, Prof D Narayana Rao extended the warmest welcome to the guests and commenced the programme. He informed, “DST has taken up the daunting task of making India as one of the world leaders in science and technology with several projects aimed at motivating and harnessing talent to be better equipped to face future challenges”.

Hema Chandra Reddy delivered a brief speech on research initiatives in science and technology introduced by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He informed, “Government of AP is planning to establish an AP state research board to promote multidisciplinary quality research and coordination among the universities.” Further, Prof Ashutosh Sharma took the virtual podium to speak about science, technology, and innovation. Picturesquely, he explained, “Innovation pertains to visual imaginations and thinking. Knowledge becomes sustainable when invention and innovation is balanced. Invention uses resources to produce knowledge, whereas innovation deploys knowledge to generate economic resources”

Prof Sharma accentuated that Covid-19 taught us the lesson that sustainable development, which as a result of sustainable knowledge, can address major challenges.” Urging everyone to do their individual job well, Prof Sharma informed that capacity of learning is the most prized possession. He said, “Capacity to adapt to change, learn new things, and lifelong learning is paramount to thrive. The convergence of multiple disciplines has an instrumental role in solving crucial problems. Our education system must have parallel structures for multidisciplinary knowledge creation and research. We should be crossing borders of knowledge and expanding the boundaries of disciplines.”

Prof Sharma suggested the scientific community to become self-reliant. He said, “Quality, relevance, and appropriate direction of knowledge will lead the world. Coupled with it, cultural aspects such as self-confidence, and self-respect makes up the art of science.” Emphasizing on the importance of collaboration, Prof Sharma concluded, “Covid 19 spontaneously spurred the spirit of collaboration with a clear and shared purpose. Researchers should have a scientific temper which entails rational analysis of situation, positivity, optimism, and cooperation. The scientific community should critically challenge views, be inquisitive, and be able to engage people in purposeful conversation.”

Prof Ashuthosh Sharma said “the scientists of the country need to be leaders and not the followers.

Some of the faculty members of SRM University-AP interacted with the DST Secretary and made a brief presentation about a few flagship projects of the University viz., “SRM – Amara Raja Centre for Energy Storage Devices”, “Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell Based Train in association with the Ministry of Railways”, 3-D printing of Gold Jewellery in association with Tanishq Jewellers”. Prof Ashthosh Sharma commended the outstanding research initiatives of the University and said that DST will be happy to extend the support.