NATIONAL RESEARCH AUDIT
Audit is the sine qua non of our modern day existence, any and every sector / activity has to go through this exercise however flimsy or mechanical it might be. There could be innumerable reservations but it is mandated to be that way. The crux of all our ambitions; the whole talk about research Andy development, of innovation & creativity and of technology adoption depends on how our research has transpired and delivered does not seem to have to gone through the auditors scrutiny but for the flimsy financial audit, which has no consequential impact. Financial audits have made no difference but for the cases of cheating, fraud, financial misappropriation and swindling of funds.
Financial audit and expenditure budgeting have for long lost its purpose. A combination of financial, physical and performance audit will take care of most of ills ailing our system, it seems quite comprehensive too, but its applicability lock, stock and barrel on the research and development components of academic institutions and of R&D establishments need to be evaluated on different parameters. At its core, there is a different question whether the right research projects have been taken up and finally what treatment has been done to them.
In this scenario where everyone is right, each validating the other conversely also means that each of these are wrong, doing lip service, allowing decadent documentation to continue to do in the name of research. All substandard stuff is approved as research proposal and problem statements to research findings all seem to fully manipulated, nothing coming coming out in the public domain for the benefit of anybody. On the one side 35,000 PhDs are granted, on other other have we don’t have a prototype to offer. Calling it simple plagiarism is an understatement, might the the whole academic research enterprise is a glass house.
Notwithstanding all that has happened, if a national research audit is undertaken in right earnest, with experts who have the skills, competencies and expertise and the courage to call a spade a spade and are ready for a long engagement to bring out the true empirical state of Indian research and propose a roadmap, it would be the ultimate gift for the nation. Rest will follow.
THE GAP BETWEEN THE PRESENT STATE AND THE DESIRED STATE HAS TO BE TRAVERSED FOR RESEARCH TO DELIVER.