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Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How not to attract Scientific talent

NDTV Reports that the Government of India and Kapil Sibal seem to have some sort of 'science policy' thingy going. Very laudable, except Kapil Sibal spoilt it all by talking something about the expat scientists' love for India, and why they would return home to conduct cutting-edge research.

In India (and I suppose in most of the world) a politician is accustomed to condescendingly and consciously undermining logical thought for the sake of rhetoric and a misplaced notion of 'simplicity in communication' (also called dumbing down), when talking to most of their audience. But it is tough to expect Sibal, or anybody else to attract scientific minds to work in India if they go ahead and treat them like they do a TV studio/Rang De Basanti audience.

For heaven's sake, you are supposed to be an intelligent politician (grant me the assumption), and intelligent politicians can discriminate their different audiences. To a man (or woman) of science, what appeals is logic, infrastructure, freedom to innovate, government non-interference, and money. That's the whole bloody reason they went abroad in the first place. RDB crap about patriotism and 'love' will only turn them away.

The recent spurt in 'foreign' investment in research in India is because of India's economy and universities, not 'love' for the land that invented zero.

Also refer to something from the Nilu archives that points to a similar thing.


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10:16 pm

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Comments to How not to attract Scientific talent

Oh as a scientist, I agree. Indian infrastructure sucks. I had written a long time ago that India would attract scientists (both NRI and internationals) by creating a HUB for embroyonic stem cell research. Well, Singapore now has one. So we are going to lag behind in this, well again. Even Korea and China are building universities and research centres to attract their scientists back. We are stuck in the phase of "Mera Bharat Mahan"- on paper only.

posted by Blogger Sakshi 

3:17 am, July 18, 2006
 

Sakshi: Even though Sibal cannot help talking like that, I somehow feel (only a gut reaction I admit) he's slightly better than the rest of our idiots in parliament. Of course, I also feel that it would be anyway futile to wait for the government to set things up. DIY has worked for India well so far.

posted by Blogger Anand 

3:34 am, July 18, 2006
 

I guess Sakshi is right and that the infrastructure sucks. But the relative lack of regulation of genomics research could just be a boon to scientists stifled by the anti-science attitude of the current US administration.

posted by Blogger Kingsley 

1:35 pm, August 10, 2006
 

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