Lok Satta Junction

For better governance in India.

Feudal scientific establishments

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The first appointment in a scheme to recruit expatriate scientists to senior positions in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) — India’s largest science agency — seems to have misfired badly.

“Our interaction with CSIR scientists revealed that they work in a medieval, feudal environment,” says Ayyadurai. “Our report said the system required a major overhaul because innovation cannot take place in this environment.” …

“I am more worried that the incident will dampen the enthusiasm of Indian institutions to hire expatriates in the future,” says Valangiman Ramamurthy, the former science secretary of the government’s Department of Science and Technology, who recommended Ayyadurai’s selection.

“I have seen many cases of vindictiveness in the CSIR, but this is the worst,” says Pushpa Bhargava, founder director of the CSIR’s Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). Bhargava, who has also written to Singh supporting Ayyadurai, says: “Ayyadurai’s report tells the truth about how the CSIR is being run today. The fact that CSIR administration is impervious to healthy and fair criticism is bound to send the wrong message not only to expatriates but also [to scientists] within the country.”

One would think, of all the people atleast the ones with a supposedly scientific bent of mind will actively invite frank discussion and criticism. Not so in our country, where people still take pride in their source of birth and teachers feel it’s an insult when someone questions them.

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Written by jujung

November 13, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Posted in India

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