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India cannot afford to miss revolution in nanotechnology: Rao
Hyderabad, Jan 3 (PTI) India cannot afford to miss the revolution in nanotechnology and must make investments in the area carefully, eminent scientist C N R Rao today said.

"India missed the semiconductor revolution in 1950's. The transistor discovery changed the world. We did not get into it in a big way," Rao said after receiving first `India Science Award' here.

"We cannot do that again in the area of nanotechnology which may become big in five-six years," he said. Already a lot of work on nano-wires and nano-circuits was being done world over. In the future, it may lead to production of nano-computers (very small size computers)," he said.

Stating that India should be on equal footing with other countries in nanotechnology, he said "we should not be at receiving end when the world is driven by nanotechnology." While work was being done in India in the area of nano-materials, not much was being done in nano-electronics, he said suggesting greater focus on it Countries were making big investmnents in the area of nanotechnology, he said.

It was important to select areas to make investments in nanotechnology, he said adding research was also needed in nano-sensors, which were already being used in medical diagnostics, Rao said.

In next 10-15 years, effects of nanotechnology may start becoming visible, he said. Thus, young people in India must take interest and do experiments in the area, he said.

Earlier, receiving the first India Science Award, Rao, who is a honorary professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scienctific Research and Indian Institute of Science, said the country must play a leading role in science. Instead of just being provider of nurses and IT workers, the country should emerge as a provider of knowledge, he said.

Delivering a lecture here, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director General R A Mashelkar said besides technological innovation, innovations in policy were also needed to make benefits of science reach the poor.

India's indigenous 'psoriasis' drug had entered phase II trials and the drug would take about three years to come into the market, he said. The scientists had also produced an anti-TB molecule which had enetered phase I clinical trials which would be complete in three months, he said.

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