Bharat Ratna CNR Rao to students: success lies off the beaten track

Rao was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) at the 15th convocation ceremony of Bharati Vidyapeeth yesterday

Distinguished scientist and chairman of the Prime Minister’s scientific advisory council Professor CNR Rao yesterday urged students to not confine their knowledge to degrees and certificates, but explore uncharted territories by pursuing an area of interest.

Just what the doctor ordered: Distinguished scientist CNR Rao (above-left) was conferred Doctor of Science (DSc) at the hands of chancellor of Bharati Vidyapeeth Dr Pantangrao Kadam in the 15th convocation of the university. Planning commission member Dr Narendra Jadhav (above-right) was the chief guest. Pic/Krunal Gosavi.

The Bharat Ratna recipient was addressing youngsters in the 15th convocation ceremony of Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed University) yesterday. Rao was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Science (D. Sc, Honoris Causa) in the ceremony at the hands of chancellor of the institute Patangrao Kadam. Noted singer Asha Bhonsale was accorded a Doctorate of Letters (D. Litt, Honoris Causa) degree. Member of planning commission Dr Narendra Jadhav was the chief guest.

After receiving Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree, noted playback singer Asha Bhosale sang a Marathi composition. Pic/Krunal Gosavi.

Fruitful five minutes
After a protracted ceremony, Rao chose to restrict his speech to just five minutes. But that was apparently enough to motivate hundreds of students present in the pandal. “I had started research at the age of 17, and today, after 63 years, I still spend most of time in the laboratory. Being a student is a wonderful thing. 50 years ago my subject (Chemistry) did not have any glamour. But today it has come in to the mainstream. Those who have walked off the beaten tracks, will definitely succeed in life,” Rao said.

While celebrating his 80th birthday on December 2, 2013 in Bangalore, Rao had expressed some serious concerns about the future of the youth by raising a question particularly to the scientific community: “Have we done enough for the younger generation?” But in his first visit to Pune after receiving the Bharat Ratna, he preferred not to pass any negative or controversial comments. Rather he assured students that the entire world would soon look towards India.

“We have very bright students in India. As by 2020, average age of India will be around 25-30, entire world will depend on us for technological and professional help,” he said.

Asha Bhonsale performed a romantic Marathi song for the audience. In her short informal speech, she said she had started singing when she was four years old and she is fortunate enough to continue singing at the age of 80.

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