Bhubaneswar, December 7 (LocalWire): Lack of focus and objectivity has crippled scientific research in the country rendering the efforts at different levels redundant, Prof. Sudhakar Panda, Director of the Institute of Physics and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) said.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day national conference on Science and Technology of Functional Materials at a private university here on Friday.
“The often asked question is when will India win a Nobel Prize in science but the people engaged in research have no clear perspective as to what they were doing and where it was taking them,” Prof. Panda stated.
He also pointed out that students at the Plus Two level are encouraged by their parents to prepare for engineering and medical entrance examinations and they get them admitted into coaching centres.
“These coaching centres need to be abolished as hardly ten per cent of the students studying there get admission in these technical institutions because of limited seats, while the rest virtually destroy their careers,” Prof. Panda, who attended the conference as the chief guest said.
He highlighted that the fundamentals of science are not taught in coaching centres where students are only told how to get through the entrance exam.
Prof. Panda said research funding agencies often wanted to know about the research work being done or where it was taking the research scholars. “But I’m afraid we don’t yet know what we are trying to do.”
“How can scientific research prosper in such an atmosphere?” he asked.
The problem lay with the propensity of guides to churn out Ph.D scholars and pile up research papers which helped their own careers but did not contribute to the growth of science, Prof. Panda said.
Though a researcher might not be aware of the details of another domain, there is a need to explore and understand other fields, he said, adding that it was more important to understand than learn.