Rise of Kashmiris in Scientific World Shifts Focus on Research

The recent critique of Kashmir’s scientific temper has waned due to the rise of local researchers at the global stage.

THE growing presence of Kashmiris in the scientific world has vanquished detractors questioning the valley’s verve for innovation.

The Covid-time critique stemmed from the annual campus-churn producing countless academics—failing to leave their mark in the world of science and innovation.

But now, the scenario is fast changing.

The much-needed break came lately when over 20 scientists from Kashmir figured among the world’s top 2 per cent scientist list compiled by Stanford University of USA.

The venerated varsity lists scientists on the basis of some key indices, including publications and citations.

Days after that global distinction, a bunch of young Kashmiri innovators patented their brainchild — a cooker that separates starch from rice.

The innovation is seen as a major relief for Kashmiris having rice as staple but suffering from diabetes.

But barring these coming of age instances, experts believe that Kashmiris need to pursue market-oriented academic-courses to stay relevant and create a larger impact at the global level.


Dr. Sultan Khuroo, Leading Gastroenterologist

There’re only two Kashmiris from the Medical Science background in the Stanford University list. The reason for this rare representation is the lack of research culture in Kashmir.

And then there’re people who resort to duplicate research having zero significance in medical research.

If somebody has done it in the US, you can’t follow it in Kashmir. India tops the list of the countries in the world where predatory researches are done and published in fake journals.

You need passion for any research. If you’re doing it for money or degree, then there’s no fun in it. There should be an urge to find something new. Originality is important. If you do proper research and discover new diseases and interventions, people will come to your door for collaboration.


Dr. Parvaiz Koul, Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS)

The students should choose new courses like Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and other sources to match the global scientific market.

The educational institutions should take these courses as flagship programs and make them market-oriented. More youngsters should come to do research. I’m sure they’ll outshine their seniors.

If I’ve 500 publications, my students should’ve 600. I’ll be very happy if my students do better than me. In near future, I’m sure more Kashmiris will figure in these coveted lists and will do better in research.


Dr. Adil Gani, Assistant Professor, University of Kashmir

I think we’ve to be more innovative and skill-oriented while providing education.

The market is looking for people who’re innovative and skillful. So, therefore, we need to catch them young and inculcate a scientific spirit at educational level.

In this regard, the campus has to play an important role. The growth of researcher should be an academic spirit. I was very lucky in that sense.

It was my parent department—Food Science and Technology—that helped me to get the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship.


Prof. Tariq Chalkoo, Head of Physics Department, Government Degree College (GDC), Baramulla

In South Asia, we lack research-based pedagogy, which means we don’t expose our students to research methodologies at an early stage. We lack orientation.

The present system is not very conducive and supportive for the researchers so somehow we’ve to change the paradigm.

I can say that we must start a new beginning since the new education policy is there and must inculcate the habit of research at undergraduate level.

The researchers need more grooming, only then we can see more people competing in the world.


Prof. Farooq Masoodi, Dean of Academic Affairs, Kashmir University

The research and academic programs have to be need-based.

But, yes, there was a time when the scholar would study any subject that suits his/her taste but the all over world scenario has changed.

The institutions, probably, feel this need now. Unless or until the academic course doesn’t create any sort of vibrancy in the economy of a country or corporate ecosystem, we need to re-consider such programs.

The government also needs to come forward and provide a good environment for the researchers so that their work doesn’t suffer.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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