Market economy killing academic
profession: Pitroda to PM
By Prashant K. Nanda
Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Shortage of research scholars will hinder
India's progress as a knowledge economy, with the market economy
devaluing the academic profession, National Knowledge Commission
(NKC) chairman Sam Pitroda has said in a communication to
the prime minister.
is already a severe shortage of well-trained young doctorates
to fill existing posts in research institutes and universities.
This problem is likely to be even more acute in the envisaged
elite new universities," Pitroda has written to Manmohan
of the casualties of the expanding market economy has been
the devaluation of the academic profession and this is now
seriously affecting the desirability of this profession,"
he wrote in the letter dated Nov 6.
was hinting at how more and more students are opting for professional
degrees like Masters in Business Administration (MBA), IT
and other such courses.
who is credited with bringing the telecom revolution to India,
has written that research and development needs to improve
dramatically to transform the country into a knowledge economy.
he has doubts.
is ample evidence that India is not well placed for this future
letter, a copy of which was obtained by IANS, said the "growth
in the number of doctorates has only been 20 percent in India
in the period 1991-2001 compared to 85 percent in China".
more than one percent of those completing undergraduate degrees
currently opt for doctoral studies in India, and a substantial
number of students prefer to go abroad.
address these problems, there is a pressing need for urgent
government policy interventions, including high priority initiatives
to attract, nurture and retain the country's best young minds
in academia and research."
NKC has suggested that besides giving better remuneration
to the teachers, there is need for using technology to bridge
the language gap in knowledge dissemination.
was set up by the central government in 2005 to advise the
prime minister on improving the educational scenario in the
country. Its primary target is to devise a road map for transforming
India's education system.
too has suggested that "increased coverage in the media
of the different facets of teaching, research, and academic
achievements, both nationally and internationally" is
letter says that academic reforms are a must.
the world, universities are the natural homes for the interface
between teaching and research. But this is far from reality
in the vast majority of Indian universities.
fact, the overall current situation in Indian universities
is dismal largely due to the lack of quality infrastructure
and the inability to recruit good young faculty and gifted
students," Pitroda's letter reads.
has suggested increasing funding to university departments
to recruit talented youngsters and periodic peer reviews of
has also recommended increasing the industry-institution interface
and funding of research and development activities.