Pitching for greater spending on research and development by the government, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has said that India's goal should not be to get a Nobel but create a "culture for first-rate science" where people are tackling important problems.
"Nobel Prizes are a byproduct of good science. They are not the goal of good science. If India gets a Nobel Prize in science in the next few years, it doesn't mean, suddenly Indian science is great. It just means, one person happens to really beat the odds and do very well as Sir C V Raman did, who got the Nobel," Ramakrishnan told PTI in an exclusive interview.
However, if India wins 15 or 20 Nobel Prizes then that would be a different story, he said.
Asked if he had a hope for a Nobel Prize in science from India in the next 10 years, the British-American structural biologist of Indian-origin said, "I don't think the goal should be to get a Nobel Prize. If the science establishment progresses and does well that will be something...So, the goal should be creating a culture for a first-rate science where people are tackling important problems," he said.
The areas where India can focus research could be anti-microbial resistance (AMR), pest control, biodiversity, environment and its degradation, restoration of the environment, non-communicable diseases, Ramakrishnan, also president of the Royal Society, said.