In his article, “Talent attracts talent” (Nov.20), Inder Verma makes several valid points to justify the emigration of Indian scientists to the West to be at the hub of things and fulfil their potential. Indeed, India currently lacks in scientific infrastructure and institutions to bring out the best in its aspiring scientists. One reason for mediocrity is that seniority rather than achievement counts in the evaluation of a scientist’s worth in India. Many science researchers show no interest or involvement in their work. They seem to work for the sake of better salary or career promotion. Whether scientists work in their native country or on foreign soil, their discoveries widen the frontiers of human knowledge. But when they work in the scientific establishments in foreign countries the fruits of their labour become the patent of the big investors in them. The benefits of their research reach the people of their home country with a higher price tag, belatedly. Poverty of talent in India is only a myth.
Many indigenous talents do not bloom for want of the wherewithal to pursue higher education. If they are identified and nurtured, they will excel and match the world’s best. A home-grown Annadurai needed no foreign exposure to be able to launch the Chandrayaan.
G. David Milton
In a system where everything (even sports and cultural activities) are sectorised in the name of social uplift and inclusion, no wonder research suffers a pathetic neglect. Clustering of research institutions may not be a sine qua non for improving the success rate and attracting talent, since progress in the fields of information sharing and video conferencing has obliterated geographical boundaries. The scattering of institutions has the added benefit of the differentiated sampling population. We need more mechanisms to detect and appreciate talent at the appropriate stage.
Seby Kuriyan P.,