Quick Edit | The search for scientists

Quick Edit | The search for scientists

Every time someone of Indian origin wins a big international prize, there are debates on the sorry state of our scientific research and development efforts. There is no hiding from the fact that an enclave mentality plagues the pursuit of science in India.

On the one hand, our universities and institutes of technology languish due to poor pay and service conditions. On the?other hand, government departments such as those of biotechnology, science and technology, and others launch schemes to attract Indian talent from abroad.

While such schemes attract scientists back, they do little to create conditions under which scientific excellence can take root. There are, of course, arguments for taking this route: India is poor and cannot afford splurging huge sums for this purpose.

That may be true. But what is at stake is finding ways to nurture and sustain science in India without having to import scientists from abroad. Unless that is done, we will remain a nation that has to purchase good scientists and vital technologies.