Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha’s launched ‘bridge course’ impresive: Venkaiah Naidu

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Kolkata, June 28 (IANS) Terming astrophysicist Meghnad Saha’s introduction of innovative initiatives like the pre-PhD course as “impressive”, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said only recently the University Grants Commission (UGC) has realised the importance of such a bridging course and made it mandatory for all universities.

“I am glad to learn about the pioneering work done by Prof. Saha. His introduction of innovative initiatives like the pre-PhD course, the first of its kind in the country to train M.Sc. students for PhD is truly impressive.

“It is really noteworthy that only recently the UGC has realised the importance of such a bridging course and made it mandatory for all universities,” he said after inaugurating the new state-of-the-art Facility for Research in Experimental Nuclear Astro-physics (FRENA) at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), founded by Saha, an official statement said.

He also said Saha was the first person in the country to initiate courses in nuclear physics in 1938 and had foreseen an immense potential of the subject in the country.

Urging scientists who go overseas to “learn, earn and then return” to India for contributing towards nation, Naidu laid more emphasis on cancer cure.

According to Naidu, his visionary genius is evident in the reorganisation of the physics syllabus of the university and plans to build a cyclotron.

It is truly remarkable that the construction of the cyclotron began in 1941, long before the foundation of the Department of Atomic Energy by the Government of India in 1954, he said.

Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) was formed in 1949, which was later renamed as Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) after Saha’s untimely death in 1956.