Higher Education: How to create more Phds in India?

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Postby Abhijeet » 29 Dec 2006 14:20

Rahul Mehta wrote:To copy efficiently, you may not need high quailty scientists, but do need high quality engineers. We too, right now, should focus on cut-copy-paste than innovate. We dont have time and money to innovate.


So my question stands. The problem posed in this thread is "how do we create more PhDs in India", the underlying assumption being that PhDs are a good in and of themselves. A BE or BTech is usually sufficient education for a high-quality engineer. What reasons are there to believe that creating more PhDs is a worthy aim?

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Need of Phds

Postby sukhdev » 29 Dec 2006 15:04

A short reply to that would be that if you want good quality graduates you need to have good quality teachers as well. Anything below Phd is a questioable attribute on the ability of the teacher to teach.
If you go to the last page of the following speech(delivered mostly from a sectarian approach) http://www.ugc.ac.in/more/chairman_nehru_lecture.pdf you will find that only 28% of the professors are Phd.

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Postby Rye » 29 Dec 2006 21:43

A Ph.D. is just a scrap of paper if the title holder cannot think for themselves independently and solve problems in a hands-on manner, and express their views and vision clearly. Hopefully, all the years of agony and self-doubt will translate to concrete abilities based on training in critical thinking. If a Ph.D. Graduate cannot think of interesting questions that are worth answering and thus demonstrate independent thinking, then all this money wasted on worthless Ph.D.s of such a nature would be better off spent on Primary education and getting more Indians educated. Good research never comes about with an uninquisitive mind.

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Postby Bade » 29 Dec 2006 22:07

It provides some comparison though India data is missing. In the early 2000 China had graduated 4000+ PhDs in engineering.
link

Rye, it is assumed a PhD after spending 5+ years or so has developed those critical skills that you mention. Inquisitive nature was a given for someone who joins on a long-term program with below poverty line existence during its course.

What is being missed is the available talent pool to nurture and implement ideas that may not have its origin from a PhD candidate. Still it does add value to society. There are no two ways to it. Only 1% of graduating PhDs maybe hotshot and creative, true even in the developed world. But that does not mean it does not have its place in building intellectual property.

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Postby Rye » 29 Dec 2006 22:33

Bade wrote:
Only 1% of graduating PhDs maybe hotshot and creative, true even in the developed world. But that does not mean it does not have its place in building intellectual property.


Bade,

India needs to have a higher success rate since we are not a wealthy country...and if Ph.Ds do not succeed in pushing the country's R&D programs, the problem with education might be at lower levels, which means India would have to focus on getting the primary/secondary school levels of higher quality and hope that results in producing more capable Ph.D. candiates...otherwise, the next thing will be some Machar Committee recommending a Ph.D quota for muslims or whatever braindead cr@p MMS & Co. pull out of their butts under the pretense of fixing the inequities in Indian society.

The day these mofos create a policy purely based on economic need will be the day we can figure the Indian govt. actually has a grip on the problem...right now, these mofos are just increasing the divide in the society with their "secular" politics that openly plays the religion card to win votes. Meanwhile, the govt. schools still suck, if they exist in the rural areas in the first place...there are no teachers and sometimes no roof, and the HRD ministry has grand plans of "complete education by 2020" and yet there are no intermediate benchmarks for their performance, so that the average guy can measure the incompetence of the Indian govt. in the education sector...instead, we are all supposed to believe that by the 2020, India will magically have a lot of educated people via quotas and redistributing the small piece of pie among a horde of people.

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Postby Bade » 29 Dec 2006 22:54

I believe you have hit upon the right point with regard to good primary education in the non-urban areas. In fact, this will be the real source to fill PhD slots in the future. The PhD route to prosperity will be the call beckoning the talented kids from rural areas as their ticket to becoming rich or famous or both. :)

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Postby SriKumar » 29 Dec 2006 23:12

Rye wrote:A Ph.D. is just a scrap of paper if the title holder cannot think for themselves independently and solve problems in a hands-on manner, and express their views and vision clearly. Hopefully, all the years of agony and self-doubt will translate to concrete abilities based on training in critical thinking. If a Ph.D. Graduate cannot think of interesting questions that are worth answering and thus demonstrate independent thinking, then all this money wasted on worthless Ph.D.s of such a nature would be better off spent on Primary education and getting more Indians educated. Good research never comes about with an uninquisitive mind.


1. I'd say, after 3-5 years of strenuous graduate work, you either get there (i.e independent thinking) or you drop out. I dont know about sciences but in Engineering, you have to publish several papers in international, peer-reviewed journals before you can consider yourself ready to graduate. If you manage to do that, I'd say, the ciritcal thinking/independent-minded approach etc. takes care of itself.

2. About interesting questions to demonstrate independent thinking, well....that's how it is perceived from the outside. From the inside, it is really a matter of where funding is available (that's how the real research world works). You could have a solid interest in areas x,y, and z; but if those areas are not funded well in your university, you are stuck. You have to move or do something similar, and that's not always easy for B.S. students coming from India (who need the assistantships from the dept/prof. for fuding their study). The flip-side to this situation is that (IMHO) there are tons of areas with really interesting problems and funding, so the student can pick one area to explore. Many military-related applications ususally fall in this category.

Added later: It seems that you might have had India in mind when you made the above post. My comments refer to situation in the U.S.
Last edited by SriKumar on 30 Dec 2006 04:27, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby SriKumar » 29 Dec 2006 23:17

Sukhdev:

The purpose of the thread is not super-clear. The thread topic is about how to increase # of Ph.Ds in India. Would it be possible to provide more detail on what you actually want to do? It is not clear whether this is something you are doing:

a) to collect information to write an article in a magazine,
b) or is it that some patriotic Indians 'want to improve India through education', or
c) is it something more than that?

The thread will be more focussed with a bit of detail. Right now there are (valid, IMO) questions raised about what is the best way to spend education money (high-school vs. Ph.d) and that's a whole different discussion- which has taken place in a different thread a while ago. And there are even people spouting dohas they learnt in middle-school about the value of gurus. :lol:

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Postby Abhijeet » 30 Dec 2006 01:46

I don't believe that a PhD is necessarily the best qualification for teaching engineering students. Industry experience would be far more relevant to the needs of most practising engineers after they graduate.

In any case, I see here that many people would like to see more PhDs not so that they can go into teaching, but:

1. To perform "cutting-edge" research in India, and
2. In order to catch up with China's reported number of PhDs.

I'm not sure that either of those reasons is compelling enough. For a country to move from a $1000 nominal per capita GDP to $10,000, is producing more PhDs or cutting edge research the best way to do it? Wouldn't simply replicating technology developed elsewhere be a much more cost-effective way to improve people's standard of living?

Once India gets to a certain per-capita GDP ($10,000 in my opinion would be the minimum), then discussions about how we can produce more PhDs or encourage science research in India are relevant. Till then, the results of such research or PhD production affect so few people directly that they are really not worth pursuing with public funds.

Again, what are the innovations produced during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia?

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Postby Katare » 30 Dec 2006 07:23

This is one more reason why we don't have too many people aspiring to do PhD.....

Want PhD? Look for a 'jhadu'

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 30 Dec 2006 08:01

One could just approve PhD programs at all of the "Deemed Universities" and remove silly requirements like "thesis" and "peer-reviewed publications". Then again, if the "peers" are just the other Deemed Universities, this problem also solves itself.

Like all else, the solution is in Innovative Marketing. Or, put the Poojya Mantri Laloo Prasad in charge of Indian Railroading of PhD programs, and he will "turn it around".

1 million PhDs per month by the Year 2010. Easy. At Rs. 10,00,000 ea. Payable in cash onlee.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 30 Dec 2006 08:21

An entry in Patel's log sheet on October 16, 2005, which carries Jain's signature, states, "Went to BSNL office, creation for printer work, post-office, watch shop for repairing, complex preparation of dyes and computer work."

Another entry dated September 19, 2005 reads, "Printer repair, mouse change and searched for 'Jhaadu' (broom)." Similar entries appear practically every day till September this year on Patel's log sheet.


I found the above quote, and the whole article, to be a VERY interesting commentary on the mindset of Indian PhD candidates.

One thing I can guarantee is that I would not hire this whiny sh1thead (easy, I don't have any money to hire anyone anyway :roll: ), or if I did, he would quit inside a semester.

Let's see. As part of a day's work, he had to

1. Go to the BSNL office and to the post office. Why? Because they had to keep their internet account running? To pay his mobile phone dues? to mail an application for a grant?

It is a fact of life in India that most of these bureaucracies can't handle billing and payments by post, that instead they believe in having ppl stand in line. OK, so IF it was associated with university work, and someone has to do it, what's wrong with the PhD candidate who is paid by the university doing this?

yeah, I know, chaprassis are supposed to be available in India so that the brilliant PhD mind is not disturbed from its slumber. Where is ol' "Kamban" when one needs him? :mrgreen:

2. "Creation for printer work" I assume the brilliant mind was "creating" something that was for presentation, not "creating" in the "pro-creating" sense? :eek: So what's wrong with having to spend some time in "creative" endeavor? They want chaprassis to do the creative work too?

3. "watch shop for repairing" WELL!! If the guy had elementary technical skills and knew how to handle a little screwdriver, he could have fixed his watch himself, or figured out how to install a new batter. Or maybe he went to get the Watch Repairer to set those two needles so that the time they showed was the same as that on the College clock tower?

:roll:

4. "complex preparation of dyes and computer work."

Hmmm! I assume that it wasn't the computer work that was complex? So he actuallly spent a few minutes on preparing dyes - I assume that's part of his research. And checking email.

Oh! SORRY ONLEE!!!!!! "Preparing dyes" for an experiment is also supposed to be done by chaprassis, in India!

(where the Indian equivalent of "Car&Drive" magazine sneers at Honda for putting lumbar support and motorized seat controls on the DRIVER's SEAT instead of the front PASSENGER's seat. heh- heh! How stupid of Honda! )

5. ""Printer repair, mouse change and searched for 'Jhaadu' (broom)."

OK, so his printer quit. Again, instead of figuring out how to clear the paper jam, the bugger must have waited for the chaprassi.

And are "mouse change" and "searched for Jhaadu" related? From the above descriptions, I would have expected patel to simply stand on a chair in the event of a Mouse Attack, rather than go after it with a broom.

OK, he had to search for a broom because he keeps his lab in such utter disarray that he can't even FIND a broom. No surprise there - how many desi students (ladke, I mean) have u seen, who have learned the habits of keeping their work space organized and neat? Even the ladkiis these days come with disgusting work habits.

That the above list seems unreasonable as an example of a day's work at the office, indicates the mindset of the papparazzi (who is not assumed to have a brain anyway) but more troubling, the attitude of the type of spineless twits that they are hiring into PhD programs in India.

so what is missing from his Log? It is the entry, every day if he wants to waste time logging such nonsense, saying:

8pm - 1pm: spent researching work and ideas related to "'Calix Pyroles and Its Applications'". Looked in many places, but finally found the Bharat Rakshak Forum, where a simple question brought tons of info from the world's greatest Pyrr-'oles. GOOGLE search turned up "In the Lyin' of Phyrr". Now too busy to waste time logging stuff, have tons of leads to follow. So many papers to write, so many Pakis to insult. Goodbye, Dear Diary.


THIS is the far worse problem. There is NO evidence that this oiseule recognizes that the PhD requires THINKING. Mostly off campus.

PhDs are supposed to have initiative, creativity, persistence, and an attitude to get things DONE, not sit around whining.

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Postby Rishirishi » 30 Dec 2006 19:02

PHD's are good for people whom wan't to persue the teaching line (a prestigious issue). Also some people take PHD becase they like reaserch. In all actuality it is a good way to sponsor reaserch in a cheap way. You can pey less, as the person is persuing a degree.

The qustion is more like, how and in what fields do we wan't to encorage reaserch. India has to start to put more money into reaserch. It is a costly affair, but essential if the country wan'ts to become a true world leader.

Areas that I think can be good to invest in:
Biotech
chip design
Pure mathmatics
metals and material
Pharma
manufacturing process

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Postby Rahul Mehta » 31 Dec 2006 17:44

Rishirishi wrote: The qustion is more like, how and in what fields do we wan't to encorage reaserch. .... Areas that I think can be good to invest in:

1. Biotech
2. chip design
3. Pure mathmatics
4. metals and material
5. Pharma
6. manufacturing process


I agree with you list.

With following conditions : They MUST spend 10 years in defense area to get PhD fundings, and 5 years after PhDs. Also while he is working on PhD, he should be required to work on defense projects.

Also, for (1) and (5), which aren't of any use to military, the GoI should fund their PhDs AFTER he has worked for 15 years in military.

No money for those who are hostile to joining military.

Now RR, following subjects are missing from you list : sociology, history, archeology, anthropology, management, human resource science, marketing research, finance, economics, music, dance, painting etc?

Basically subjects which are related with "human beings", "society", "values" etc etc.

Are you hostile to GoI spending money/lands in raising PhDs in sociology, history, archeology, anthropology, management, human resource science, marketing research, finance, economics, music, dance, painting etc? (I am.)

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Postby Vidyarthi » 01 Jan 2007 17:26

SriKumar wrote:
Sukhdev:

.......... The thread topic is about how to increase # of Ph.Ds in India. ............................

The thread will be more focussed with a bit of detail. Right now there are (valid, IMO) questions raised about what is the best way to spend education money (high-school vs. Ph.d) and that's a whole different discussion- which has taken place in a different thread a while ago.



Mere increase in the supply of PH.D.s will not be sustainable. The demand too has to increase correspondingly. Demand will increase if Ph.D.s are employed not just in teaching and R&D funded by government, but also by those who produce and sell goods and services in a globally competetive environment.

Here, we should broaden the scope of this discussion. It should be, how to increase the number and employment of 'high caliber researchers' in all the fields of concern to society; for instance, improving delivery of developments in areas of agriculture, energy security, housing and health, water supply and sanitation, packaging and transport of perishable goods, control of diseases, etc. This would include for sure researchers in Social Sciences.

Many government funded prestigeous schemes, like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, drinking water mission, river water cleaning scheme, lack expert monitoring, analysis of shortfalls and devising remedial actions. Babus in government are unable to carry out such tasks. They can do only expenditure accounting and control. Consiquently, the schemes are falling behind targets in performance. Scarce resources are going down the drain. Precious time is being lost in developing the country. Expert researchers are sorely needed to provide indispenseable corrections. Such schemes having outlays of thosands of Crores of rupees can definitely afford the services of 'high quality researchers'. Non government bodies can employ such researchers and supply them to the schemes on contract basis and to the needed extent. Remember, a private company will not allow such wastages; instead, would engage suitable researchers.

Most of the Indian industry produces goods and services baseed on imported know how. At least, product improvement can be attempted by indigenous research and development. A structureed interaction with customers, both domestic and foreign, can provide the motivation and scope for improvement. Basic research and development by 'high caliber researchers' will provide an enduring foundation for such wide ranging and highly skilled activities.

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Postby Rishirishi » 01 Jan 2007 19:12

Posted: 31 Dec 2006 Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rishirishi wrote:
The qustion is more like, how and in what fields do we wan't to encorage reaserch. .... Areas that I think can be good to invest in:

1. Biotech
2. chip design
3. Pure mathmatics
4. metals and material
5. Pharma
6. manufacturing process


I agree with you list.

With following conditions : They MUST spend 10 years in defense area to get PhD fundings, and 5 years after PhDs. Also while he is working on PhD, he should be required to work on defense projects.

Also, for (1) and (5), which aren't of any use to military, the GoI should fund their PhDs AFTER he has worked for 15 years in military.

No money for those who are hostile to joining military.

Now RR, following subjects are missing from you list : sociology, history, archeology, anthropology, management, human resource science, marketing research, finance, economics, music, dance, painting etc?

Basically subjects which are related with "human beings", "society", "values" etc etc.

Are you hostile to GoI spending money/lands in raising PhDs in sociology, history, archeology, anthropology, management, human resource science, marketing research, finance, economics, music, dance, painting etc? (I am.)


India is not a militaristic society like our belowed TSP. We spend money on defence becasue of sequrity concerns, not military ambitions. Indias main aim is to develop a good society for all people to live in. The defence reaserch establishment, has to compete for the best tallent (read, become better at managaing their affairs and paying market rate)

I a not hostile to raising PHD's in ANY field. India needs specialists in all fields. But I am talking of areas that can be "special thrust" areas.

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Postby SriKumar » 02 Jan 2007 00:10

Vidyarthi wrote:
SriKumar wrote:.......... The thread topic is about how to increase # of Ph.Ds in India.....
The thread will be more focussed with a bit of detail. Right now there are (valid, IMO) questions raised about what is the best way to spend education money (high-school vs. Ph.d)

Mere increase in the supply of PH.D.s will not be sustainable. The demand too has to increase correspondingly. Demand will increase if Ph.D.s are employed not just in teaching and R&D funded by government, but also by those who produce and sell goods and services in a globally competetive environment.
I had argued for this in my first post in this thread. Decreeing that 'there shalt be more Ph.ds' will NOT automatically induce more students to take up Ph.ds. All it will do is to make funds available for research. In current day economy of India, where starting (and even experienced) Ph.ds earn about the same as a call-center employee, and much lesser than the IT sector, throwing more funds for research, while helpful, will not attract enough of the right type of students. It will be a bit like the high-tech. office space in Beijing (or is it Shanghai)...where the govt. of China built up plush offices, and a fair amount of it remains unoccupied. Per Katare's post above as of today, M.Tech seats in IITs are going vacant (derived from the Rama Rao report, I presume). More M.Tech and Ph.D seats hardly seems the solution? I should clarify that my comments are more w.r.t engg. research rather than scienctific research.
Here, we should broaden the scope of this discussion. It should be, how to increase the number and employment of 'high caliber researchers' in all the fields of concern to society; for instance, improving delivery of developments in areas of agriculture, energy security, housing and health, water supply and sanitation, packaging and transport of perishable goods, control of diseases, etc.
Are there any high-caliber researchers in India today? And by high-caliber, we should also include the many nameless and unknown engineers/researchers doing the drudge work in the labs who do not have their names in the newspaper. What are they doing today? Think about the DRDO/HAL/ISRO/IISc situation. Why are they leaving in (IMO) not insignificant numbers? CNR Rao and others have spoken publicly about this. When we can't staunch the current hemorrhage, why should we be talking about new schemes to pump in yet more people into the system? I submit that planning for financial expenditure on such projects without considering the post-Ph.d situation (i.e adequate employment, in tune with the current times), it is putting the cart before the horse. The current problem must be addressed before future problems are tackled.

At least, product improvement can be attempted by indigenous research and development. A structured interaction with customers, both domestic and foreign, can provide the motivation and scope for improvement. Basic research and development by 'high caliber researchers' will provide an enduring foundation for such wide ranging and highly skilled activities.
The high-lighted part is the real problem. I've kind of given up on govt. R&D being much more effective than what it is today. Of course DRDO/ISRO has done a lot of good work and has a lot of good people. But these are really govt. agencies and therefore severely hamstrung on how they can operate. One has to change the structure on how GOI controls these groups. Hercules had an easier job cleaning the Augean stables...all he had to do was to divert a stream. My submission is that the pvt. sector has to push ahead on this by itself, and they won't do it unless their product sales are at risk. If at all this will happen, it will happen with increased foreign competition (foreign, only if/because the foreigners innovate).

Lest I come across as being against govt. involvement in R&D, I must add that I believe govt. has a crucial role to play in funding R&D, especially in science. Company-funded engineering R&D is more likely to be development rather than research. Many of them will do only the minimum needed to give them a minor edge in the product (defense R&D is different though). The situation is a Gordian knot for sure, but the knot has been unraveled long ago in other countries.
Last edited by SriKumar on 02 Jan 2007 02:31, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby vera_k » 02 Jan 2007 01:26

Vidyarthi wrote:Many government funded prestigeous schemes, like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, drinking water mission, river water cleaning scheme, lack expert monitoring, analysis of shortfalls and devising remedial actions. Babus in government are unable to carry out such tasks. They can do only expenditure accounting and control. Consiquently, the schemes are falling behind targets in performance. Scarce resources are going down the drain. Precious time is being lost in developing the country. Expert researchers are sorely needed to provide indispenseable corrections.


This type of problem doesn't need PhDs. It needs good managers (not necessarily MBAs). Defining metrics, analyzing performance and setting strategy are classic management functions.

enqyoob wrote:PhDs are supposed to have initiative, creativity, persistence, and an attitude to get things DONE


Absolutely. In fact this is a requirement for almost any engineer. In the US, I have seen this enforced through promotion policies (can't be promoted to senior level without original contribution) that apply uniformly to PHd and non-PHd candidates.

Organizations that have these kinds of promotion policies can be used in a industry-academic partnership to boost PHd numbers quickly. The idea would be to have people attempting to make original contributions or those that have made original contributions in the past work with a university to complete a PHd based on their work. The IPR related issues would have to be sorted out, perhaps by carefully patenting or copyrighting work that will result in the grant of a PHd.

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Postby Manav » 02 Jan 2007 05:40

"Are you hostile to GoI spending money/lands in raising PhDs in sociology, history, archeology, anthropology, management, human resource science, marketing research, finance, economics, music, dance, painting etc? (I am.)"

Really? I guess if we follow your way of thinking on this, we will end up like our militaristic neighbours! I am sure you have read Indian history...recollect that the most successful rulers almost always funded work in precisely the sectors that you don't want the GOI to fund...well...I suppose with the exception of 'marketing research'.

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Postby Vidyarthi » 03 Jan 2007 16:18

vera_k wrote:
Vidyarthi wrote:Many government funded prestigeous schemes, like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, drinking water mission, river water cleaning scheme, lack expert monitoring, analysis of shortfalls and devising remedial actions. Babus in government are unable to carry out such tasks. They can do only expenditure accounting and control. Consiquently, the schemes are falling behind targets in performance. Scarce resources are going down the drain. Precious time is being lost in developing the country. Expert researchers are sorely needed to provide indispenseable corrections.


This type of problem doesn't need PhDs. It needs good managers (not necessarily MBAs). Defining metrics, analyzing performance and setting strategy are classic management functions.

[quote="enqyoob"]

Agreed that the researchers for this type of problems need not be PH.D.s. Also, mere managers are not enough. According to reports, most of the target population under NREGS did not know about the scheme. Neither did they know about the minimum daily wages. This means development communication is lacking. Further, area wise list of the durable assets to be constructed, their blue prints and site are not complete. Some projected assets are not even of durable type. The schemes are victims just not of the proverbial corruption, but also of inapt detailing. So, a multi-disciplinary group of analysts, developmnt communicators, social scientists, engineers, managers and administrators may be required to sort out the reasons for shortfalls and work out remedies in the major projects like those listed above. India has experts in each of these disciplines, but has assembled rarely groups of them. There lies a basic deficiency in the visualization of such huge schemes.

Apart from the wide spread cancer of corruption, our country also suffers from the curse of neglect of the essential micro-details. It is like setting just a desired outcome in a feedback control system, without creating the control mechanism. If we prepare detailed blueprints for action, and schedule periodic reviews and problem solving sessions, the demand for manpower with higher education and skills will increase. Thereby, schemes will better achieve their targets.

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Postby SriKumar » 06 Jan 2007 06:25

MMS talks about funding Sci/Tech. This may be a good sign, or it could be one more of those things that all agree need to be done, but nothing happens. http://www.hindu.com/2007/01/04/stories ... 550100.htm
Posting 'The Hindu' article in full:
CHIDAMBARAM (TAMIL NADU): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday indicated a significant increase in the allocation for science and technology (S&T).

Inaugurating the 94th session of the Indian Science Congress here, he said:

"We owe it to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that in the early years after Independence, we built several world-class institutions of science.

"The time has come, however, for a new thrust to and renewed investment in basic sciences. [The Government is] committed to increasing the annual expenditure on science and technology from less than 1 per cent of our GDP to 2 per cent in the next five years."

Though three institutions of research in sciences were launched in the past one year and the Government would do its utmost to invest further in science, the scientific community should also spend more time and energy on revitalising the scientific institutions, he pointed out.

Dr. Singh expressed concern over the dwindling enrolment in schools and colleges for basic sciences, decline in standards of research in universities, as also in advanced research institutes, and lack of interest among youth to take up careers in science.

While stressing the need to upgrade the university system, he called for the establishment of a system of international peer review in research laboratories to help maintain standards.

The Prime Minister sought measures to groom young scientists to take up top positions over a period of time, with proper orientation of economic incentives and rewards. "Only when students see prospects of early reward and recognition, they will be induced to tread the often lonely and tiresome trail of advanced research," he said.

Dr. Singh called for changes in the visa regime, employment procedures and remuneration systems, especially in Government institutions and universities, so as to facilitate the return of the best and the bright among the Indian scientists abroad and make them participate in building up a knowledge-based economy in the country.

"Many bright young Indian scientists working abroad in advanced fields of research wish to come home for varying periods of time. We must fully exploit the potential of this `reverse brain drain.' Our mindsets must change, so that we are open to draw on these [NRI] and other global resources in promoting science and technology development at home."

The Prime Minister also urged intellectuals and scientists to give suggestions to promote scientific research and temper.

"I was pleased to recently receive from the National Knowledge Commission some proposals with respect to promoting both science and scientific temper in our country. The Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has also made some proposals in this regard. While suggestions pertaining to the creation of new institutional structures are being examined by the Government, I invite intellectuals and scientists to come forward with ideas on how we can promote science research and a scientific temper," he said.
Last edited by SriKumar on 07 Jan 2007 08:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bade » 06 Jan 2007 06:36

While stressing the need to upgrade the university system, he called for the establishment of a system of international peer review in research laboratories to help maintain standards.


Establishing an international peer review without international collaboration could become a morale issue with young hopefuls. Looking always towards west for approval. In fact we have the system already in place where PhD thesis has to be approved by a faculty from outside India usually the west and it has done nothing to improve quality.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 06 Jan 2007 16:19

international peer review in research laboratories to help maintain standards.


Which shows the basic problem: those in charge of Indian research policies are Dhimmies.

You don't become a leader by waiting for permission to lead, and trudging along behind the "leaders" on the beaten, Pu-laden path. You lead the way YOU decide to go, and breathe fresh air. The "peers" will follow when they see that your bandwagon is moving faster than their bandwagons, and that they can't cut in front of u.

Of course this is a risky course, which is why Dhimmies don't take it.

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Postby Vidyarthi » 07 Jan 2007 12:34

Another reason for India to have 'high caliber researchers' is to break out of body shopping type of exports of services. India needs to have more system architects, more inventions recognized through more patents, cutting edge technologies to have break throughs in competetive manufacturing, new tools and methods to upgrade rural skills, and the like. True, these do not necessarily require more Ph.D.s, but do require people with right mental make up to persist in perfecting the researched solution for long periods, and exploring systematically all alternatives before accepting any one of them. If growing such skills requires the kind of grinding to sharpen one's wits and communication skills which one acquires while working for a hiugher degreee, we have to encourage higher education.

We should not redicule higher education, just because it is not creating at present in India the right type of graduates. There are plethora of undesirable influences. Every body concerned has to realize that if India has to cross successfully the next milestone, the value addition by India has to be much higher. So, India needs badly many more of 'higher skill researchers'.

Let us look from another angle. In the recent past, exports from India grew by exporting more of raw materials, like minerals, raw cotton and hides. Now, India is exporting more of finished products, like goods made of steel, polished diamonds, jewellary, garments and leather goods. If similar value addition before exports is done in spices, marine products, engineering goods, business process operations, India will surely create higher and more remunerative employment opportunities at home.

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Postby rajsunder » 17 Jan 2007 00:14

We in INDIA do not have enough qualified(Mtech/ME) professors to teach BE/Btech guys. During my Engineering days Reservation Quota passouts (just with BE degree) who had to take the subject paper two to three times just to get enough marks to pass were used to teach BE subjects. None of them used to have enough knowledge to clear even a simple doubt.

P.S: this was the situation in hyderabad, in one of the top 5 private engineering colleges in the state

Now how can we expect PhD's to come out of this kind of system.

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Postby Omar » 17 Jan 2007 01:05

Purdue Uni looks at India for research

Are there any high-caliber researchers in India today? And by high-caliber, we should also include the many nameless and unknown engineers/researchers doing the drudge work in the labs who do not have their names in the newspaper.


Do you mean like highly cited researchers? This listed is not comprehensive by any means and includes journals that are only indexed by Thompson, but it provides good evidence for my point. There are eleven names from India. Compare that with PRCs 18 (of which 14 are from Hong Kong so for my purposes they won't count), Taiwan's 9, Singapore's 4, Korea's 3, Malaysia 0, and Thailand's 0, I think India is pretty strong in number of high quality researchers among progressive developing world countries (so excluding waste dumps like the Mideast and the rest of South Asia).

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Postby Omar » 17 Jan 2007 01:22

In addition to my previous post, look for researchers of Indian-origin. See how many Aggrawals, Guptas, Patels, Singhs etc.etc. you can find. Many of these people had their bachelors and some post graduate work (masters, MBBS, or PhD) completed at Indian universities. Now, look at their citizenship. Its not a matter of creating more PhDs but retaining them by creating opportunities for them to stay in India's private sector or academia.
Last edited by Omar on 17 Jan 2007 01:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby asharma » 17 Jan 2007 01:29

"Creating more Ph.Ds" is not even a chicken-egg issue....... it has to be preceded by some degree of economic prosperity first, perhaps USD 2000/ capita GDP (just an arbit cut-off based on when Japan/ Taiwan started their high-tech bandwagon).

We are progressing well down that road, nothing will come of trying to short-circuit that process...

After that of course it does become chicken-egg to some degree at least, but I think we are well placed on that front in terms of institutions

So don't worry, have curry

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Postby SriKumar » 17 Jan 2007 08:50

Omar wrote:
Are there any high-caliber researchers in India today? And by high-caliber, we should also include the many nameless and unknown engineers/researchers doing the drudge work in the labs who do not have their names in the newspaper.

Do you mean like highly cited researchers? This listed is not comprehensive by any means and includes journals that are only indexed by Thompson, but it provides good evidence for my point. There are eleven names from India. Compare that with PRCs 18...
I think you mis-understood my comment, probably because it was considered out of context. I am quite familiar with the presence of desi names in research. My comment above was in the context of what the current set of researchers in India (esp. in the govt. and defence research labs) are doing. The premise of this thread is about increasing the number of Ph.Ds in India. My rejoinder to that is: before we look for means to increase their numbers, let's also look at what the current crop is doing and why. There's has been public comment on this from prominent scientists about researchers leaving their field, and also fewer people entering the arena. This issue must be considered seriously if people want to improve the desi R&D scene. There was nothing in my post about Indian R&D being below par.

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Postby Alok_N » 17 Jan 2007 09:13

that citation index has many flaws ... lets not get excited about it ... for example, notice that there are many names in the lower half of the alphabet ... that is because they go by first author onlee in an author list that is alphabetical ... for example TIFR physicists Bannerjee and Gurtu stand to score, but others like Mondal, Narsimhan, Tonwar and Singh are ignored ...

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Postby Kakkaji » 11 Feb 2007 08:40

Interesting comparison. Click on the table for comparative figures:

163-year lab lag with China

New Delhi, Feb. 10: A bit of school algebra may sometimes deliver a reality check. India is hoping that its economic growth will edge closer to China’s 10 per cent, but it still lags over a century and a half behind the northern neighbour in its science and technology workforce.

A scientist at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation in Bangalore has shown that India will take at least 163 years to match China’s research workforce of 850,000 even if Beijing were to freeze the number today.

At the CMMACS, chief scientist Gangan Prathap has spent years doing complex aerospace engineering mathematics. But he has now used simple school algebra to show that even if India’s 4,500 annual science doctorates were to join the 115,000-strong science and technology workforce, the country won’t be able to touch the figure of 850,000 until 2170 AD.

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Postby svinayak » 11 Feb 2007 08:55

Image

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Postby Bade » 11 Feb 2007 09:01

But Rao said he’s worried the government hasn’t been able to ease the stranglehold of the bureaucracy over appointments and the release of funds — even when the funds have been approved by high decision-making agencies.

Babus can overide anything, after all what is the need for science when one can program in xyz and make millions. Fix the pay disparity and things will change on its own.

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Postby bala » 11 Feb 2007 09:21

There is an initiative amongst industry to encourage working people to increase their knowledge base by taking steps towards higher education. IBM India, for example is asking their bright people (who stopped after their B.Tech, B.E) to take masters, phd programs. This would certainly help if others like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, etc. follow the lead of IBM. When industry places demand value on PhDs then the supply will happen.

But IMO, the only way PhD backlog can be attained nationally is by correcting the base foundation i.e. K-12 education. My prescription..

Education

Education is the only way to break the deadlock of poverty, malnutrition, health issues and other factors that drag India down. The GOI has to take a lead in this altruistic venture since private firms have profit as the main motivator. For the GOI, education investment is a profitable venture in the long term since the costs involved for not doing so are much higher.

a. Free Primary Education for all children Kindergarten to 12th grade

Policies should made such that it is illegal for any parent to not send their ward to school, i.e. it is the birthright of every child to get an education in India. No more child labor.

b. Free nutritionally balanced meals for children up to 12th grade

This is cost effective way to combat nutritional imbalances. Even well-to-do parents have little understanding of nutritional needs of kids. The uniform standards would go a long way in making a healthy youth.

c. Broad based college courses include

There is basic flaw in the western oriented college system. No college teaches the young person to deal with life’s practical problems. A little help in these areas would go a long way in making a young person’s life less complicated. There is a need to also make oneself more broad based, in appreciating other things like arts. India as a nation lags behind sports. The main reason for this state of affairs is that there is no basic infrastructure for sports.

i. Arts and Sciences
ii. Practical personal management – finance, public speaking, ethics, law
iii. Sports

d. State Colleges/Schools per state with as many campuses in major, minor cities of the state

India still lacks the correct number of schools and colleges to attain goal of 100% education. GOI should treat this as infrastructure issue and create policies to augment investments in this area.

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Postby Alok_N » 11 Feb 2007 13:39

for folks posting pandapoker stats with reverence ...

how come a country that prodces 10x PhDs per year compared to India has only a 2.5x share of global publications? ...

most folks I know will not touch a pandaPhd with a 10 foot pole ...

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Postby Stan_Savljevic » 11 Feb 2007 14:09

Alok_N wrote:for folks posting pandapoker stats with reverence ...

how come a country that prodces 10x PhDs per year compared to India has only a 2.5x share of global publications? ...

most folks I know will not touch a pandaPhd with a 10 foot pole ...


AFAIK, a good % of Chicom PhDs in the US return to HK/Spore/Shanghai/Chicom schools either because of discomfort with the industry/Amriki folks, language, culture etc. This is despite the knowledge of a lack of democrazy etc.. While this remains true even with a small fraction of desi PhDs, there is a FAAAR better level of comfort with the MNCs and culture, in general.

And the statistics also assume that none of the desi Phd-wallas will never ever return to matrubhumi. Wait till the facilities develop till the comfort level of these folks, and there is going to be such an exodus that this may lead to a backlash. All in the works onleee! Wish all things were a zero-sum game onlee..

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Postby Alok_N » 11 Feb 2007 18:58

Stan,

The statistics posted are for homegrown PhDs, not uncle trained ... one way to look at those stats is that Indian PhDs are 4x more productive than chinese PhDs in terms of publications ...

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Postby Kakkaji » 11 Feb 2007 20:04

Well, somebody is getting a PhD with his thesis on the 'simple algebraic formula' showing a 163 year gap between India and China.

My thesis is that if the market pays a good rate for their efforts, India will start producing 4 times as many PhDs in a short while. :wink:

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Postby williams » 11 Feb 2007 20:13

Kakkaji wrote:Well, somebody is getting a PhD with his thesis on the 'simple algebraic formula' showing a 163 year gap between India and China.


My thesis is that if the market pays a good rate for their efforts, India will start producing 4 times as many PhDs in a short while. :wink:



Oh Yea, there will be Aptechs and NIITs that will get into PHd business. :lol:

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Postby Alok_N » 11 Feb 2007 20:34

PhD coaching classes won't be far off ... :lol:

the true measure of the aukaat of a career in India lies in its desirability in the matrimonial pages ...

the way to get more PhDs in India is very zimble onlee ... a few bollywood tramps need to be recruited to enter into high profile weddings to some PhD geeks ... the entire nation will want a PhD next ... :)


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