IISERs to help Indian researchers to return

Sakal Times
December 15, 2010

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) group of institutions started by government to foster research at undergraduate level, would help in encouraging Indian researchers settled abroad to return and join IISER for further research or as faculty, Prof Krishna M Ganesh, IISER Director, Pune, said here on Tuesday.

In his inaugural address at the three-day international symposium on ‘Accelerating Biology', Ganesh said, “Hitherto, most of our science and technology infrastructure has been concentrated around the bigger and specialised labs in the country. Educational institutions, especially at the post-graduate level, have had very little infrastructure investment, because of which students lose interest in science and many chose to opt for alternative careers."

"In the next five years, through the five IISERs across the country, we hope to create 5,000 MSc students. Our new worry is how to extract science from the large databases that we generate. There is a transition required from information to knowledge, and we should now concentrate on building knowledge bases,” he said.

He added that at present, only 12 per cent of school students in India go to college unlike other leading nations where the percentage is around 30. In the US, it is 60 per cent.

"There is a serious need for us to catch up. But then, where is the faculty to teach the students? Abroad, education is a product,and the market, which is our students, is flocking towards them. This is fundamentally wrong as the scenario should be opposite," he said.