Raman Openly Criticised Nehru
He estimated that the research institute could be built with a budget of a couple of lakhs of rupees and carry on work with a minimum recurring expenditure of Rs 2,000 a month. “My confidence in the usefulness of the proposed institute is indicated by my preparedness to find from other sources one half of the capital expenditure proposed and also to meet one half of the recurring expenditure necessary for the next five years. If the Government of Madras could see their way to make an equal contribution, the construction of the institute could be immediately taken up and proceeded with,” states the renowned physicist’s letter dated August 18, 1959, to the late C Subramaniam, minister for Finance Education, Government of Madras.
With the erstwhile Madras Government listing several conditions as part of the grant-in-aid code for a half grant towards construction of the institute and repeated suggestions for securing the Union Government’s financial support, Sir Raman’s subsequent letter to Mr Subramaniam points at his reluctance to seek help from New Delhi. “My experience and present knowledge of the attitude of the Central Government in matters concerning scientific research alike indicate thatany application for a building grant made to that Government for the proposed institute would be met with a refusal. Not until the institute has been fully established and proved itself useful would the Central Government feel at all inclined to extend a helping hand to it,” mirrors his disinclination to write to the Centre.