Friday, August 11, 2006

Imagine Bombay University doing this?

The University of Texas System will spend $2.56 billion to expand teaching and research in technology and science, a Texas-size bid to make the state a hub for scientific and medical research.

I can never. This is what universities should be doing though. Spend time and money on research and teaching. All Indian universities are worried about is how to effect 'social justice' that some vote-bank policy dictates. Or internal politics.

Original research? New teaching methods? Are students learning something worthwhile? Will they contribute to nation-building? Providing an atmosphere conducive to them to learn, explore?


Meanwhile the bright kids wait for the day they can leave India for the US/UK, where their talents are recognized and allowed to develop further.

Now i am not saying that Bombay/Bangalore or any university should spend close to 3 billion dollars. Obviously we don't have that kind of cash. I am just trying to point out is the effort and policy direction.

Also see a previous post here on the University of Michigan's annual research budget. The university is the largest university research spender in the world. The sheer scale. Yes, the fees are HIGH. But the faculty and facilities are the world's best. And a student who's enrolling knows it's a life long investment. I'd have this rather than MSc's from Bombay University who've done nothing but just cram. Why blame them? That's what the system demands.


Suspect said...

Right you are. And the results show it. India in all its history has *one* Nobel Laureate who did his Nobel Prize-winning work here. One. That's about one Nobel prize for every billion people. The US on the other hand gets a Nobel *every year*.

It's something ingrained in our system, to cram and study, the whole *syllabus* philosophy. It needs to go.

Sharan Sharma said...

Hi US,
Yes, especially the 'syllabus' part :)

And true about the Nobel Prize winners as well...C.V.Raman in India, true...but his nephew Prof. Chandrashekhar got the nobel when he was a US citizen...same holds even if we claim Prof. Hargobind Khorana.

In fact, did you know: once Prof. Chandrashekhar spoke to Nehru about obtaining/developing computing resources to facilitate research and nehru dismissed him as some sort of a fool...he was more worried about building huge dams...i don't know if this story is published anywhere but my grandad - who was Prof. C.V.Raman's student and in the senior scientific community - told me this.

Times have not changed too much...

sandeep said...

moral of the story: leave this country and move west!

aarshi said...

maybe someday?

Sharan Sharma said...

like i did...leaving the part about coming back? :)

Don't have much hope, honestly. Our fin. min. announced a Rs. 100 crore package last year to IISc. No news of that at all. And honesestly, 100 crore is a tuppence: 20 million dollars. We just cannnot compete on a gloabla scale with only this much money. Like the post points out Univ. of Mich.'s research budget is 800 million dollars! So where is 20 million?

Suspect said...

Sandeep: Moving west would be logical for someone who wants to do research, especially in scinces like Physics or Astronomy which require expensive equipment and infrastructure.

Frankly, that's a very small number of people. For the rest of us, who want to write code and maybe publish a few papers every year in IEEE or the American Journal of Mathematics or write novels on the side, moving west doesn't make sense any more. Maybe ten years ago, but not now.

India, and most of all suburban India, has improved a lot, and if you have the brains and the luck, you end up with a salary that's 75% of US salary, in India, which is about 125% purchasing power. Win-win.

sandeep said...

True Usual Suspect. But what about the quality of life? You leave your house in the morning and you don't know whether you will see your family again... you spend a fortune to buy a car and then wonder what the hell the BMC and the state govt is doing with all the taxes that you pay... they can't even provide you better roads leave aside comfortable transportation system... and we have not yet started talking about the corruption that exists in this country... I am sure the Fin. Minister's 100 crore package that Sharan wrote about must have been utilized by now and you know what I am talking about! In a country where we don't have pure water to drink, we plan to ban Cola! God bless this country and all of us. Only he can save this country, I guess!!!

Suspect said...

I guess it's true. You're right, of course, and I'll be the first one to grant you that. And the fact that we as citizens (you live here, don't you?) can do practically nothing about. It really depends on what you care about and what doesn't really affect you. It's just that India has improved a lot from its state 10 years ago, and I can see this positive trend continuing. It's a virtuous cycle, really, and they're powerful things once you get them started, so I can definitely see India going somewhere, becoming something, over the next 20 or so years.

Until then, I'm off to Silicon Valley haha (joke, joke, my comments are not internally inconsistent).