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That we are not good at research is a foregone conclusion, as things stand now. What would be more worrying to accept is that we would remain so, for the foreseeable future, if we don’t mend our ways. Purpose defines most of our even sedentary and mechanical work, that it would be the component of purpose which can create research with a difference. Research without a purpose should not be encouraged and is a waste of the scarce educational and academic resources available to us. We find innumerable issues where it could have made our life little more comfortable and meaningful, while lakhs of researchers are toiling hard to come up with original findings. These findings are getting validated again on a near mechanical basis by committees made for the purpose of validating the value of the research.

About 80% of the research in this country comprises individual researchers being guided generally, by individual guides. There are great guides who would guide dozens of researchers to doctoral glory. The only claim to fame of the researcher is that he or she got a doctoral degree and that for the guide, it adds one more number to the already guided doctorates. The sole purpose is the limited to career progression for the academicians, as per the statutory regulations. Not only that millions of pages of manuscript goes straight to the archives, so to say, the bigger cruel joke for our next generation is that the quality of education has not moved an inch because of this valuable qualification added to the academician’s arsenal.

The next purpose is to exhaust the funds earmarked for the purposes of research. It would be difficult to find any researcher looking for funds going out of the way and reading half a dozen books for finding the most required lead on any topic or any issue. The rules of the game are neatly laid for approving / releasing / getting the grants. When the funds land in your lap, they also know how to create the report, findings and thesis in whichever way it is required. All the stakeholders of the game understand how the game has to be played in that ecosystem and is being done in a perfect manner. When everybody gains with minimum effort, it will always remain a win-win situation. Research becomes another form of scriptory work with a different methodology and template. While nothing gets delivered, all are fully satisfied.

The other 20% of big funding research is done in a very grandiose manner, yielding nearly the same results, few exceptions notwithstanding. When science and technology face the same fate, who is bothered about management and liberal arts. How can we have a major part of our research primarily for fun i.e. personal gain? On public money. Every single piece of research should have a clear-cut purpose and necessary benefits can be awarded only if her purpose is fulfilled. It should fuel our understanding and solve the issues at hand. Educational institutions must have a clear cut purpose for research happening under their command and using the resources made available by them. Ditto for the research organizations. The art of research perfected so far does not serve any purpose, it is self-serving at its very best. Let India’s research be globally validated for its utility, by this exercise at least we will find our base.


Sanjay Sahay

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