KOCHI: Union Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam, who is known to speak his mind, on Tuesday was at it again. Irked by the thin attendance at the International Symposium on Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Analysis and Fisheries, Kannanthanam did not mince words while lashing out at the current state of research in the country. The minister who arrived at the CMFRI here to inaugurate the second day’s session was peeved at the sight of unoccupied seats.

“Several symposiums turn out to be holidays. I don’t know whether these conferences serve any purpose. We have dozens of research institutions and brilliant researchers, but do the fruits of the research percolate to the common man? Has the common man benefited from these research? The last time it happened was during the Green Revolution which helped to improve agricultural output. You may have done a lot of research, but the life of the fisherman has become all the more worse,” he said.

According to Kannanthanam, while serving as the state’s Higher Education Secretary and Commissioner for Entrance Examinations in 2000 during his IAS days, he had noticed majority of the research papers were ‘cut and paste’ jobs. Foreign countries are using software  to check plagiarism in research work. A research work , or a thesis should benefit the society or at least widen the horizons of knowledge, he said.