Monday, February 25, 2013

Advancing Science in India

That is the title of an article by Adarsh Sandhu that appears in the Science Careers section of the journal Science.

With views from Indian scientists, the article describes several initiatives and funding opportunities that are now in place to foster research and advances in science. For instance,
"The government is going to inject $5 billion into science and technology over the next five years," says C.N.R. Rao.
Ways to spend it? In the section about developing new research areas, the article mentions
The new funding policy will advance India’s prowess in [...] space, energy, and the life sciences as well as important research areas in physics, materials science, and atmospheric science. Planned missions to Mars and a neutrino observatory will receive financial support under the new framework.

[also] role of innovation in targeted technological industries [contributing to] renewed excitement among India’s scientists. Energy is one of those strategic sectors...
Enticing 'foreign Indians' to return, expanding facilities and infrastructure, increasing career opportunities, growing talent early...the article pretty much covers every essential aspect of advancing science in India. It ends with a quote from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "One has to be optimistic. (...), unless one is optimistic, one is overwhelmed by the dimension of the development task that we have to accomplish."

A good read, for regular Science Magazine readers.


  1. Suryanarayana Rao said...

    With due regards to the author , I may say the following.

    1. In the entire article there is no mention of agriculture ! Imagine the
    task of feeding 1.2 billion and even more in the coming years, facing the
    problems of water scarcity, shrinking agricultural land, decreased soil
    health etc. There is a dire need to increase the productivity and total
    production. How much money is going to be allocated towards agriculture
    and how qualified man power is going to be managed?

    2. The entire article focuses on central/national institutes and the state
    universities (560 of which state universities are 285) have been totally
    ignored ! Is science and technology in the state universities is not of
    any significance ?? Is there no plan to improve them ?

    3. Similarly , nothing much is mentioned about Medical and engineering
    fields except for IIT's which are again central universities. There are so
    many state and private medical & engineering colleges.

    4 There is no mention of college education( science) at all.. We have
    thousands of them. Many offer PG Programs and some PhD as well.

    5. It is clear form the above that the funding will be highly skewed . It
    should be made transparent as to how much money is being allocated to
    different categories of institutes and to different disciplines? It should
    also be made clear as to how much of money is being allocated under
    recurring and non-recurring expenditure. There is no transparency of money

    6. Is it necessary to have nano centers at so many places ? In addition to
    what has been mentioned effort is being made to create nano centers at so
    many other places. Instruments will they be put to full use ? Why not
    share ?

    7.Creamy layer of NRI' scientists may not come to India. Others who come
    may not be able to work under indian conditions. The academic and
    administrative ambience is not good here. The enormous freedom which they
    get in west they cannot get in India. In addition there is no wastage of
    time in west. Here when the NRI scientist joins , very soon he will be busy
    attending meetings, conferences, becoming member of so many committees etc.

    *Dr. A. S, Rao,*
    Professor, Department of Biotechnology,
    Bharathidasan university,
    Tamil Nadu, India
    Mob: 9789272567