Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was the last and only scientist from India to win the Nobel Prize for his motherland. No other Indian scientist till date has been able to bring the glorified medallion home to give some solace and pride to embalm the wounds of India. So what is the real cause behind this? Do Indian scientists lack the required merit? Does the Indian government not promote science and research? Or is it simply a coalescence of multiple aspects that led to the demure state of affairs in the field of science which catapulted into this irredeemable disaster?
Lack of infrastructure and proper mindset
Just after India’s independence in 1947, the development of science suddenly started decelerating at rapid pace. The facilities and infrastructure for scientific study and research were neglected and its requirements were wafted off by non-foresighted people at the helm of the nation. The mindset of the government was questionable as it concentrated on a stronger army and healthy economics rather than nurturing a pool of intelligentsia who could drive the nation’s progress even further. In the coming days the nation’s scientific prospects suffered in spite of possessing some of the finest academic brains around the world. What India lacked was the urge and will to harness those home-grown brains as sustainable resources for empowering India’s development and pride.
The brain drain phenomenon
The brain drain phenomenon was initiated when the gifted academicians and researchers of India found the nation’s scientific environment unfavourable for their prospects as well as growth. The infrastructure and patronage provided in India was much substandard compared to the contemporary foreign dominions. The frustrated and disheartened individuals possessing some of the gifted brains left for more lucrative foreign shores thus depriving India of its own resources. These individuals, had they stayed back in India, would have contributed much to its development and prowess. Ironically, some of these talented brains even went on to win the Nobel Prize but sadly the credits went to all except India.
Indian education system
The prime culprits of poor scientific prowess are not only the government’s ideologies and brain drain phenomenon but also the Indian education system itself. The most negative aspect of the education system in India lies in its centuries old British colonial procedures followed for educating the masses. It concentrates more on rote learning and repeated examinations rather than knowledge, innovation and original thinking. The British implemented this system as it assisted in yielding more efficient government officials but never helpful in promoting knowledge and academic excellence. The continued romance of India with this method has bleeding her scientific prospects over the past many decades.
State of science in modern day India
The current scenario holds hope for progress owing to the diligence and zealous scientific propaganda taken up over the years. Research is much better placed at present than it was years ago. The political honchos have finally realized the role science plays in leading a nation on the path of development. The growth of financial allotments and patronage for science is helping the scientific fraternity like never before. Though the situation needs improvement nevertheless but Indians can still hope for better days as the nation lies in waiting in twilight to experience the sun’s rays yet again over its scientific horizon.