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academician and non academician

academician and non academicians

times of india reports (august 12, 2012) that "In the past 50 years, the PGI has published 15000 papers. however, unsatisfied with this number, the institute is deliberating on starting two separate cadres -- non-academicians and academicians".

that is the trouble. we believe in segregation. the theoretical knowledge must not be adulterated by practical knowledge. and practice should not be burdened with inconsequential background knowledge or the desire to obtain new knowledge.. no wonder there were reports that ninety percent of our MBAs are unemployable. the person who is doing the welding at your nearby shop is totally ignorant of what electrode is or does.

kothari commission called for vocational training for all the students at the secondary school level. the proposal did not even get approval in principle. how can the son or a daughter of a high official in government be expected to handle the hammer and the nail? what are the menials for?. in fact indian tradition is reflected in the saying

'khelo ge koodo ge, bano ge nawab

. pado ge likho ge hon ge kharab'.

our education system is designed to alienate the student from manual labour. the child from the village does not like to go back to the village which would mean soiling one's hand. the student from the tribe will like to settle down in city rather than go back to tribe except for getting married in which case the spouse also leaves the tribe.

one may also question why the figure of 15000 is pathetic. it mean 300 papers a year, almost one per day. (excluding sundays). it is not clear how many more they want. will the non-academician be like a printer bringing out papers (scientific papers) by the hour.

and is the number that important. what about the quality? why is no attention paid to that aspect?

that is another of our fascinations – for the figures. they may not have any significance but we are enamoured of them. lies, damned lies, and statistics –said mark twain or some humorist like him but for us statistics are important. so the higher the number of papers written, the better it is and never mind the quality.

it is believed that india is producing the highest number of PHDs per graduate student in the world. our contribution to original research remains pathetic. in 2004-05 the number of PHDs in india was 17,898 as per the number of PHD students in 2004 were stated to be 40,000 in united states of whom about fifty percent were students from outside united states that is to say roughly the number of research students was same as that of india despite a much larger graduate base. .(higher education policy 2004,17,p183 international association of universities www.palgrave-journals,com/hep).

but the high number of PHD students in india does not ensure quality. no doubt there are brilliant indians and many inventions or innovations owe their discovery to indians or india origin people. india does not benefit by that fact. other countries do. but quality of research within india remains poor. perhaps it is because the atmosphere leaves much to be desired. the upcoming persons are not allowed by the seniors. this results in mediocracy. why risk career for the sake of appearing to go against the trends as set by authorities. many a researcher is disheartened by such an attitude.

to return to the point, it is not clear what PGI wants to gain by such separation. it appears to be quantity. is it an attempt to curb the over enthusiasm of the paper writer feeling that research is done at the cost of medical work and thereby lowering the standards of the medical care. either way the division would only hamper the research rather than make the doctors - non academicians more careful about their duties towards patients. it will be recalled that in order to force doctors to be more careful about their duties in the medical college and hospital, madhya pradesh government banned private practice. many of the senior doctors resigned following this ban order and students were deprived of benefit of working with many leaders of the profession. it did not help the patients by making a difference. only resentment of those remaining with government (i.e. who could not afford to leave) resulted, it led to lower care for the patients and for the students. on the whole the decision does not appear to serve the purpose it is intended to serve.

the malady lies elsewhere. it is lack of commitment to the profession, to the people who are supposed to be served and to the country.

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