How to make Indian research in science &technology world class!

Instead of constantly whining why India with so much intelligence and talent is so low in world rankings, honest reflection leaving shit ends of political correctness , helps.

Dalits instead of being helped by affirmative action committ suicides , getting frustrated in Ph D programmes. Then those guides famous for ensuring degree, reportedly collect Rs 100,000 to agree to guide a student. The scholarships / special stipends make it a lucrative business to manufacture Ph D.Blame games aplenty mark the university administration. Accountability of Professors in autonomous institutions and tyranny faced by simple honest students falling on the wrong side of line of acceptance on personal matters , truly cloud the atmosphere.

Instead of academics politics occupy the space in many a university.

Any talk of reform or quality improvement every one happily join the band wagon to increase remuneration or infrastructure and more and more funds for foreign jaunts. Easier to dump money , govt increases budget and washes off hands periodically. But political correctness forces them to demand that social justice be served by assuring non-merit-based postings of professors , teachers, students, research scholars . Garbage in garbage out policy. A man who cannot run cannot get medal in running race nor a man who cannot bat become another  Sachin T through reservation and non-merit based selections.

But affirmative action is a humanitarian obligation. But forcing excellence out of one who is not competent whether back ward or forward caste, is frustrating as much for the recipient of such noble gesture.

To gain skills commensurate with competence all monetary help is right but isn't it foolish to keep on extending preferred treatment for areas where own non text book dependent, creative areas are involved?

Then the human interface and concomitant individual prejudices , both of student & teachers need to be addressed.

This is best done by removing direct interactions. Technology helps. Only lectures in large class rooms, student teaching assistants to help clear doubts and home work assignments on line and evaluations by faceless senior students or teachers should become the model. Subject wise credits to be earned , minimum to be earned each semester and for completing the degree requirements should be designed. A digital library well stocked with study and reference material and powerful internet network dedicated to university act as backbone. Experiments and labs too exist but used facilities to deliver projects. Project review and assessment be by peer groups, that is each team judges the other teams presentation , then weightage taken for this and final grade allocated by professor .

For PhD , only 30% requirements for courses to be covered subject wise credits be granted. 70 % weight age will be purely own work of research and judged by publication of his work in peer reviewed journals. Minimum of two or three independent publications be specified.

The role of guide is minimised once the course is settled and entire burden to research and publish papers in reputed peer reviewed journals , rests with the student. Thus a PhD becomes really a matter of merit and not likes and dislikes of local professors.

International standards have to emerge from within. Cannot be injected externally.  The accountability of professors and their relevance to the university too get judged by their annual out put of review research papers in peer reviewed journals. Not less than two annually.

Affirmative action limited to scholarships to finish a bachelor's course. It should be then responsibility of the student to satisfy merit requirements to go further. No more hand holding treating as babes in the name of social justice.

Unless a society learns to put faith in excellence and not in glorifying non-merit criteria, the frontiers of knowledge firmly keep doors closed.


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