Saturday, September 29, 2012
“Reasons for Lack of Adequate Researchers in India” - Professor M.S.Rao
“Research serves to make building stones out of stumbling blocks.” – Arthur D. Little
The recent research revelations about India’s lack of research mindset exposed the chinks in the armor of Indian education. Three popular surveys namely THE-WUR, ARWU and QS unfolds that Indian institutions stood nowhere within the top 200 institutions in the world. It clearly conveys the message that we need to work to make our research stronger to become academically strong and keep in pace with the global academicians. The surveys create several doubts in the minds of many intellectuals and call for immediate action. Do Indians lack research mindset? Do Indians lack adequate funding for research? Do Indians lack proper research ambience? The responses may vary but it is a combination of all these reasons.
We Indians often emphasize on quantity, not quality of research. We are not willing to wait patiently, and we often blame external reasons for our weaknesses. We may also question the surveys as biased. It is time for introspection. Here are the few probable causes for the present scenario:
Some of the industry rejects join academia as a last resort. Some join academia as a stop gap arrangement. Such faculty cannot deliver the goods effectively. Only the faculty who join by choice, not by chance will be able to contribute to academia. And the faculty who are passionate can make a huge difference in the lives of students. Some institutions don’t treat research as an integral part of teaching which is a retrograde step. In fact, research adds value to teaching, and teaching in turn generates more questions and triggers from students leading to further research. Both research and teaching are two sides of the same coin to excel as successful academicians.
Recently Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee expressed his displeasure as follows: “I feel it necessary to share with you my sense of dismay on seeing, in recent reports, that not a single Indian university or institute of higher learning, including the premier IITs, figure on the list of 200 top-rated universities of the world. Now you may question the survey, but, to my mind the more important question is: Why? Why are we .. not able to promote our standards to be rated, indisputably, among the top 10 or even top 50 or 100?”
Remember that it is the bad tradesman who blames his tools. Hence, Indian researchers must examine the reasons for the current scenario; develop flair for research; and work in tune with global researchers to catch up with them and to stay compatible and competent. It adds a great value to their CVs, and to their institutions, and above all, to India.
"This atmosphere of excitement, arising from imaginative consideration, transforms knowledge. A fact is no longer a bare fact: it is invested with all its possibilities. It is no longer a burden on the memory: it is energizing as the poet of our dreams, and as the architect of our purposes. Imagination is not to be divorced from the facts: it is a way of illuminating the facts.” - Alfred North Whitehead
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