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India's research institutes stagnant, old: IISc chief

July 31, 2007 13:43 IST

Majority of India's scientific and research institutions are stagnant and on 'life support systems' due to lack of vigorous faculty recruitment and insufficient funding, a top scientist rues.

And it's a matter of concern that many of them were collectively ageing, no longer being attractive for students, and India's academic community needs to introspect looking for reasons for the slide, says Indian Institute of Science Bangalore Director Prof. P Balaram. 

Faculty recruitment are generally slow, mainly because of financial reasons, he said. "Many universities (science and technology research institutions) are state universities. They don't have the money to meet increased salary budget. So, although the institutions are kept alive, institutions are kept alive many times...may be on respirator rather than being healthy", Prof. Balaram told PTI in an interview in Bangalore.

In India, the academic community needs to introspect a great deal, he said. "They should ask the question: are the institutions in which they are working very attractive for students ? What's it that they are doing in order to make their institutions attractive for students? India, Prof. Balaram said, needed institutions which were very much student-centric because it was the students they were trying to attract.

"Many of our institutions tend to become top-heavy. They appear to be serving not so much for students but for management and administration. This question needs be asked of all institutions".

Ramnath Shenoy in Bangalore
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