The excitement of breaking barriers and discovering frontiers: this is how P. Anandan, managing director, Microsoft Research India, described ‘research’, a path less travelled by students in India.
As the chief guest at the Bangalore edition of The Hindu EducationPlus Career Counselling session, which was among the five cities where the annual pre-counselling programme got off to a start on Sunday, Dr. Anandan, however, rued that it is difficult to convince engineering graduates to go for higher education and research.
Speaking about research as an activity “driven by curiosity to work on a problem that may not benefit anyone today or tomorrow, but needs to be done,” Dr. Anandan emphasised on the need for researchers to work towards success and not “lead to nothingness.”
“In research, you can think without constraint, but think about real things,” he said.
But he mentioned how less than 1,000 engineers sign up for Ph.D programmes every year in India.
“We simply do not have enough people going into research. The quality of research is also better in the U.S. and even in China. But Indian research is stronger in chemistry and math, and to an extent in physics and biology,” he said.
He told the engineering seat aspirants that the course prepares them to do three things: technical engineering, basic researching and entrepreneurship. “A solid professional education can help you be an expert, explorer and entrepreneur,” he added.
Dr. Anandan begged to differ on the usual perception of jobs. “A job has many negative connotations such as something routine, bound to do, and what you are being paid to do, and not about discovering the true potential.”