Scope of Scientific Research in India

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We think of engineering, and IIT clicks in our brains in an instant . We feel proud, and don’t give a second thought to science research in India.Degrees in science, M.Sc’s and M.Tech’s, are now very common in India, thanks to the mass opening of sub-standard engineering colleges and private universities. As many as 1500 new colleges opened in 2008, like wild mushrooms. Also, though the AICTE conducts a central examination for admission to engineering courses, most colleges do not take into account merit or the academic brightness of its aspirants; rather, money (read-donation) is a bigger criterion.

In this scenario, engineers are produced in bulk year after year, in the absence of enough jobs; add only to the list of educated unemployed.

Indians may have good aptitude and high IQ levels, but we have very few good research organizations. In fact, we can count them on fingers- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Science and IISER Pune. Take into account the billion plus population, the population-institute ratio for the same is close to nil.

Why are there so few research institutes? I would say, primarily because of poor foresight and vested political interests. Our politicians are, supposedly, attracted only to immediate rewarding ventures, and since scientific research is apparently not a big deal, it suffers step-motherly treatment from the government. For the same reason, the government gives hefty scholarships to courses in arts, but not in research. It is unfortunate that even though we had an eminent science personality, Dr Kalam, as President, India neither saw any major developments in science, nor the setting-up of quality institutions for research.

Another reason for poor research in science is the diminishing inclination of people towards pursuing a doctorate in science. Insufficient scholarships or support from the government is one reason, and strong competition to get through to few above mentioned institutes is the other, for general loss of interest in research.

Growth is one part to industrial development, development is another. What our leaders do not realize is that for an industry to sustain, it requires not just engineers, but a strong Research and Development (R&D) department. And, no institutes mean lack of research, which further implies stagnant development that the future will see.

India Shining- Wow! India is expected to be a developed nation by 2015.

But let’s not just bask in the current industrial growth of 9% and be content. Only a decade later will we run out of enough scientists, which will be a deterrent to further development and India Inc.

Shobhit Garg

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  1. Talking about science research in India, it is in a sorry state. But it’s not the politicians only but whole Indian intelligentia is responsible for it. Leaving apart the political interference from politicians, whole indian intelligentia is obsessed with foreign science tag, its own few TIFR like institutes. Howsover good work one does at a normal university, they’re looked down upon. Funds are rarely granted on the basis of a project’s merit but only the links or iit’s tag works. If Indian science has to progress, it has to treat its universities at equal footing. These are the breeding ground of researchers. They should be judged on the basis of their work not the name’s tag. Let all the institutes/universities fight on the basis of their competence rather than patronizing a few ones. Unless Indian intelligentia learns this, blaming only the politics is a lopsided argument.

  2. Deepanshu Maheshwari , on July 19th, 2010 at 11:50 pm Said:

    I am a class XII student who wants to conduct research in field related to DNA but officials at government laboratories are not at all helpful so how can we think about career in R&D when we are not given due resources at school level. Though our HRD ministry has obliged students by providing scholarships to carry out research work but till the time we don’t have labs which can cater to the need of Indian high school students these scholarships are just wastage of money. In western countries, due respect is paid to research work and to increase the inclination towards practical knowledge they conduct summer camps related to scientific fields such as genetics, robotics, biochemistry etc. Can we expect India to develop if fields other than engineering is not given its worthy respect. As our former prime minister Indira Gandhi has said “A country must establish its own research capacity in basic and also applied genetics, to benefit from advances in knowledge which are generated by global scientific community…..Our objective is to create a new climate through rural society and to put science to the service of poorest and the weakest….”

  3. Vinit Parmar , on August 18th, 2009 at 3:10 am Said:

    Yes man u hav said an ultimate truth….! Also da Ma’am above me has said very correctly dat ppl choose MBA after B.E….. Nowadays ppl r choosing “MONEY” over “PASSION”…. Even my frnds except me has all chosen dis field….

  4. Do you actually feel In India Engg is considered as Engg? Nope. Its considered a good option for a career with MBA for good jobs. B.Tech is completed, then everyone runs for MBA. There are so many engg instituions as its demand is high. 8 Lakh students give AIEEE every year. What is the point of having 8 Lakh engg every year when its only point percent students get into research. Very few Indians like to dedicate their lives to Science, and this is the most sorry state of India. It is always said “Microsoft employs IITians” ask yourselves why isn’t it the other way around? Why India doesnt have premier firms or institutes where tons and tons of foreign people are interested in.

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