When we say Europe, we instantly think about excellent education, proper healthcare, safe drinking water, food and medicine, a 24×7 electricity supply, modern roads, best cars and metros, digital facilities and all sorts of technological innovations. The engineers, scientists and the researchers in the laboratories, whose rigorous and consistent hard work brings in these comforts of life and living, undoubtedly define the creamy layer of their intelligentsia. The best of incentives and a due recognition of their efforts keep them motivated in the line of fire.
Out of the 50 most sought after careers in U.S, Data Scientist and DevOps engineer continue to rank 1st and 2nd respectively.
The mainland India on the other hand is essentially a land of poets and philosophers as also pointed out by President Bill Clinton in his petty praises in a visit, long ago. A major chunk of the Indian society still pursues careers in theatre, art, music, dance, drama and literature. However, the 21st century demands a nation to make scientific accomplishments for a vital and viable existence. Perhaps it was in the same wakefulness that (Former Prime Minister) Mr. Vajpayee had extended the slogan of Jai Jawan and Jai kisan to Jai Vigyan. A country which sans the techies has to borrow the technologies. Consequently, the development process kick-starts at a heavy cost and is never able to keep pace with the basic minimum requirements of living of the people, forget the luxuries.
A look at the most livable country in the world immediately draws us to this conclusion that their engineers have been the actual movers and shakers of the time. Unless a bureaucrat is more of a technocrat, nothing is going to work in the process of development. In our own Vale, as the snow falls, so fall the power poles and the avalanches. For their frail arrangements, it is not only the rain that pains us but also the heat that beats us. The problems are further compounded by a difficult terrain and topography. The scientific ‘miracles’ delivered by Mr. Sonum Lotus alone have enhanced our snow preparedness. The rest of the executives are doing poetry on the snowscape on which the people are dying.
I am recalled of John W. Gardener who had said, the society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will neither have good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. The scientific careers in this part of the world have been marred like anything. Due to the poor infrastructure and poor funding, there is a rather low level of research, usually very incremental.
If we look at the difference in investment in science and technology between India and China, its a stark difference even when we correct for the fact that China has a bigger economy. Here a students capability is still related to his fluency in spoken English, while as a child in China cant pass the middle school without being able to design a Daniell cell. Think about the scale of balance which weighs the works of CNR Rao with the hits of Tendulkar. The news in Feb of 2014 read that the former had shared the Bharat Ratna with the later and not the reverse. The people of the nation were thrilled to hear Tendulkar but needed to be introduced to Rao. Most careerists grow solo in their careers but let us learn to admire those whose career growth carries the betterment prospectus of the nation.
An old wise man in my neighborhood believes that cricket should be a modified form of (Gille-danda) of his childhood which costs us 1to 5 days of productive work today. As reported by an Indian TV channel some years back, Americans had identified cricket ball with Base ball as they did not know it nor did their president Bush seem to be aware of it on his visit to India. They dont play a game for more than 75 minutes.
The Nobel laureates like Ronald Ross and C.V. Raman and a biophysicist like J.C. Bose had glorified the colonial India but the independent India has only two PIOs in its virtual kitty of Nobel laureates. Although the government is trying to restore things by creating IITs and IIScs but the prestige and glory as well as the pay and package also need to be reset. From the movie Three Idiots we had learnt that life is a profit and loss statement to most of the people. In the absence of desired gains, let not an engineer or a scientist opt out to choose an easy glory through penmanship, poetry and narration.
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