New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Ninety per cent of the country's students go to colleges and universities where there is little research done despite being so close to premier research institutes, and this has to be rectified, Principal Scientific Advisor to Centre, K VijayRagahvan said on Friday.

Addressing the CII Lifesciences Conclave, he stressed on the need for the industry and science agencies to work together.

VijayRagahvan noted that COVID-19 pandemic has brought together the science agencies in an extraordinary manner.

He said the country's research ecosystem has a robust spread out -- the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), the Department of Science Technology and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) -- which is “absolutely mind-boggling”.

These institutes have an enormous intellectual, material and other infrastructure resources and these capabilities have to be leveraged, he noted.

Similarly, there are nearly 70-75 central universities and hundreds of state and private universities across the country.

“Ninety per cent of the research support goes to those laboratories where 10 per cent of our students go. Ninety per cent of our students go to universities/colleges where there is little research. Yet, they are literally from stone's throw away from the best places of research and this is something that has to be rectified,” the official said.

He said it is a “salt-pepper mix” and this provides a solution.

If all agencies partner, the national lab network of resources can be available both to the industry and to these colleges and universities, VijayRaghavan suggested.

Other countries are also trying this, but they will not be trying it on the scale that is possible in India because of its population and network of laboratories which can be connected and the fundamental simplicity of research.

This is something we must embark on, he stressed.

The principal scientific adviser (PSA) added that bondage of unnecessary multiple kinds of regulations needs to go. Reform in the space of academia and industry, regulation, university and research - all these are constant processes.

Talking about the collaboration between industry and the country's science agencies during the pandemic, VijayRaghavan said there is a great danger that is like a rubber band that is pulled apart.

“Now as the pandemic declines, the rubber band shrinks back again and goes back to old ways. We cannot go back to our old ways. Our science and industry must walk in step together,” he added.