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  • Category: General

    Are the Universities aiming for quality research these days?

    Are universities in India focusing on quality research? Do you feel there is much need for improvement?

    The Universities, institutions of higher learning, are supposed to be the best education centres doing research for the development of the society and the citizen. The cream of intellectuals is sitting in these institutes as professors, associate professors and assistant professors. In fact, these professionals are supposed to contribute more towards the research activity and come out with more useful inputs to the development of the nation.

    That is the reason why the teaching work of professors is much less when compared to the teaching work of lecturers in colleges and junior colleges. The university teaching staff has to concentrate more on research and shape the students of the institute as the model citizens of the tomorrow's society.

    But is this objective getting fulfilled in the present day Universities? Is any single finding getting turned to be a useful item to the society? I wish to have the ideas of various members on this subject.
  • #637833
    Yes Sir. I worked in a full time in a Research capacity with the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the Mecca of Management Studies in India. I was stumped by the quality of research. The quality of research on a huge variety of subjects by the professors was so huge, that each professor would undertake a tour of two countries in Europe, present four papers in International Conferences and then be back in the very next week!!

    In particular, those from Economics were simply world-class. Most research projects were funded by World Bank. A huge amount of field work used to conducted, and the research was world class. For example, there were some six studies on the mid day meals scheme of the Tamil Nadu Government, way back in 1985. Its socio economic impact was reported in some international journal of repute, even then!!

    Cut to even the so-called "B Class" business schools. Am yet to see a professor who was ( or is) as famous as Dr Bhandari and Prof Vora, two marketing wizards of the IIMA. In fact, the former was the one who master minded the entire marketing strategy of Nirma, which went on to become a marketing sensation, and later gave the Hindustan Lever, a run for their money!!

    Sir, in sociology, in psychology, and even in Engineering, we do not have cutting edge research or innovation. A few engineering colleges in Chennai city, are giving huge emphasis to hands on research and innovation. A few years ago, a mechanical engineering student invented a small equipment that could be used by a blind person, to cross the street, without any help from any person whatsoever. He went on to present his innovation, in a German International Conference and Exhibition.

    Research, even in traditional medicine, has not reached the foreign lands. For instance, the power of the papaaya leves to cure dengue, through traditional Siddha and Aayurveda methods, has been widely discussed. However, why can't the Government of India encourage cutting edge research and enable this research to throw fresh light on its intrinsic merits, or how this could be made into a medicine in the form of a syrup or even tablets?

    We seem to be going nowhere. Research should solve common problems and should people to see better lives. One really wonders why our research capabilities are so poor. What are our Universities doing, except making money?

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