Home > Calcutta, Education, Science and Technology > Ramakrishnan on Indian science

Ramakrishnan on Indian science

The nanopolitan posts some excerpts from reports on Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan’s trip to India, his first after winning a Nobel Prize.

I like the way he answers questions — about whether he felt responsible to India and would return to help Indian research, he said essentially that the Indian public (including the Press and the Government) did not care about his views on this before he got the Nobel Prize, so he did not feel bound to take any sort of responsibility to help Indian science. Quite excellently put, I thought. The government (and the public) should look for opinions and suggestions from the indigenous scientists, and more importantly, consider those opinions seriously, especially those critical of the establishment.

Another thing Dr. Ramakrishnan said was that his experience as a teacher was limited to two years at Utah, and he did not teach any more. This is worrying by implication — the top brass at most research institutes have been undermining the teaching programs there, both by not rewarding those who teach and by rewarding those who refuse to take part in teaching activities. These comments would only strengthen their position, even though such a position is quite indefensible in a country like India where the teaching programs at most universities are in a state of deep decay.

His views on `meritocracy’ are as expected, and despite his lack of exposure to the ground realities in India, he is not too far from the truth when he mentions that a lot of nepotism is at work here. Had he spent some time at one of our research institutes, he might have found a few more of the obvious problems.

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