Prof. Dr. Vishwanath P. Agrawal, Director Universal Science College, Nepal
My association with this suave Nepali Scientist dates back to several decades. To be precise, when I was studying at the Tri Chandra College-Science Department at the end of the sixties- Dr. Agrawal was already a teacher of Chemistry at the said college.
What brought us more closely is the fact that we both resided in the same area in Kalikasthan, Dillibazar.
I must thank for his gracious verbal encouragement that he used to provide me as and when he came to see me and my friends. I was always one of the best students adjudged by my Professors at least in the discipline of Chemistry.
Dr. Vishwanath P. Agrawal is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Concurrently, he is an Academician and Coordinator of Sub committee on Chemical Sciences at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Khumaltar,
Prof. Dr. Agrawal is also the Director of Universal Science College, Maiti Devi,
Besides this, he is concurrently the Executive Director of the Research Laboratory for Biotechnology and Biochemistry (RLABB).
Dr. Agrawal is not only modest but also an enthusiast who claims that should the government think on the development of nuclear energy in the country, it could be done easily. However, how he would materialize what he claims he has yet to spell it out.
Dr. Agrawal, I must admit, is more than my elder brother and a good teacher though I never got an opportunity to listen to his lectures at the
Last week, we at this paper approached this brilliant but yet humble highly qualified scientist for an interview on contemporary political events in the country. He could not deny our request. Below the results: Chief Editor
TGQ1: As a qualified citizen of this country, how you Professor Agrawal have been analyzing the unfolding political events in the country. Given the fact that the Maoists too have found a place in the government structure, do you believe that they would behave in a democratic manner that is demanded of them now? How you would interpret their entrance into the government as well?
PROF. AGRAWAL: Bringing Maoist in the national main stream was a great feat in the context that our neighbors are still struggling for it. Then I thought that good days were ahead. Unfortunately, the fruit started turning sour. Maoists could not change their mentality. They could not inculcate the democratic culture. They do not realize that democratic process is slow. On one hand they are in the parliament and government, but on the other, when surrounded by problems they resort to the policy of intimidation, use of force and disrespect for law and order. Now, the situation has become so complex that I do not comprehend and hence have stopped worrying bout it.
TGQ2: The country saw this time the unprecedented Madhesh unrest. What could have been the root cause behind such an unrest of unexpected magnitude and dimension to the extent that it appeared that the communal harmony that existed since long in between the Pahades an the Madhesis almost going o the dogs?
Was it the expression of their genuine inner feelings of being continued neglected by the ruling elites in
PROF. AGRAWAL: Principally Madhesh unrest is the result of our own doing. Since the establishment of
TGQ3: As a scientist, how you see the prospect of the development of science and technology in this country? Can we achieve what others have already in their possession? Where lay the fault? Have you Prof. Agrawal, any scheme in mind that could well be taken up by the government? Your opinion please!
PROF. AGRAWAL: Given the present situation, prospects of the development of science and technology are not bright. We can achieve what others have achieved or even more in selected areas, provided sufficient funds are made available. We are second to none in creativity. At present my research is focused on harnessing the hidden power of bacteria. I am thinking of giving a research proposal on “Selection of cold loving bacteria for enhanced production of biogas in hills" to the Ministry of Science and Technology through Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.
TGQ4: The parties in the coalition-the EPA- are still fighting for petty political matters. The population is becoming restive. Some even say that the government that has come into existence after the revolution must have exhibited enough courage in addressing the urgent demands of the people. How do you, in such a situation, rate the performances of this government which has the participation of the firebrand Radical communists? Your remarks please!
PROF. AGRAWAL: The government is not doing well. We are facing a leadership crisis. Who after GPK? If we could replace him with a younger person like MKN or Narahari Acharya things could have improved.
TGQ5: The King is silent but yet the EPA partners suspect his moves. Is the King really active as suspected by the parties in government or the suspicion is unfounded? How you would like to interpret the King’s present status? Active, nactive, suspended or even defunct? Your comments please!
PROF. AGRAWAL: Political leaders are suffering from king-phobia. King is virtually powerless, but still they are afraid of him. It shows they are weak inside. King has no role to play. I wonder why he is sticking around amidst all the humiliations. This worries me “Are there any hidden agenda behind all this ".