Posted by Part Time Jobs Online | Sunday, November 30, 2008

Research laboratories are starved of researchers and scientists. The National knowledge Commission has remedies.

Pure science forms the bedrock of all applied science. Advancement in Science is a necessary condition for future technological revolutions. But students across India are shunning Pure Sciences.
Many reserved faculty posts remain vacant in the absence of innovative or flexible appointment moderns to all these strain and teaching load on the existing teachers. In addition, this has contributed to the gradual decay and death of many departments of pure sciences in colleges and universities around the country, which were once famous for their science teaching.
The reasons are not too far to seek. It’s not paying to be a scientist. Period. And to arrest this disturbing trend, be National Knowledge Commission (NKC), appointed by the prime Minister has come out with various incentives to lure students. All you
Students who shunned experiments and laboratories, read this:
The strategy for the promotion of science education in the Eleventh plan aims at expanding and strengthening the Science and technology base in our universities and promoting excellence through competitively secured funding art centers for advanced research.
“Since developing competence in the basic sciences has a long incubation time, it s important that this problem be addressed with alacrity.

“Science and Mathematics are living subjects which grow rapidy and give rise to new areas which build on other existing areas. Therefore, there must be a constant input of fresh and young talent. It is worthwhile to note that developing countries like china and South Korea have investedmassivelu in science education in the past few decades and are reaping enormous benefits today in terms of economic development and global standing in science,” the Commission has said.
• Invest in upgrading and expanding the existing infrastructure and promote sharing of available resources. There is a need to expand seats at entry level in Science disciplines to create a critical mass of scientists in each stream.Sunstantial expansion of capacity of bachelor’s programme in all good institutes is required.
• The starting of IISERs is a step in the right direction and it is crucial that they succeed in setting an example. A continuum of institutes in quality is needed. While there are IISERs on. One end and government science colleges on the other end, there is a need to start undergraduate courses at universities and other places which currently offer only post graduate education in sciences to complete the continuum of institutes for students with varying abilities.
• Select universities can offer Bachelor’s honors (four year course-with an option to directly move to ph. D.programme after successful completion of honours.
• Attracting students to Maths and Science: They choose their place of study. Colleges which do not have adequate infrastructure should form clusters with nearby colleges and institutes to share laboratory resources, especially expensive equipment.
• Sharing resources: Many valuable facilities are not optimally shared among research institutes, laboratories and universities. The funding agencies should promote the formation of centres for shared instrumentation, by facilitating a consortium approach.
• Full-fledged laboratories within the campuses o f our universities and other educational institutions can be ser up. Greater collaboration should be promoted between research institutes and universities through appropriate incentives.
• Scholarships: The number of direct scholarships to meritorious students like meritorious students like KVPY (Kishore Vigyanik Protsahan Yojana) should be increased to cover a larger student population. To enlarge the pool of scientific manpower and foster research in the sciences, the Government of India has announced a programme entitled “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research” (INSPIRE).That should be launched soon.
• To facilitate teaching in universities by research scientists, supporting infrastructure should be created in universities for visiting professors.
Further, University and research institute faculty members should be given the flexibility of taking sabbaticals for teaching in colleges, doing work in educational field and for popularizing science among children, teachers and communities in rural and urban areas.
• There are lots of grant disbursing government departments and organizations. Researchers seeking funds for their projects have to manoeuvre across all these administrative hassles to get funds. A web portal, which brings all relevant funding information together, should be launched. Administrative problems and delays created by funding agencies should be done away with. Competitive process for grants should be established.
• School teachers should be provided with avenues to discuss new pedagogical developments, For instance, they should be encouraged to do projects in laboratories in colleges during vacation time. Colleges can be given separate funds to run such programmes.School teachers should be sufficiently encouraged to develop new experiments and activities to be used at school level.

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