Updated on 21 March 2014
I think we need to somehow make the UGC (University Grants Commission) as an autonomous body. Universities should be provided with better manpower as well.
Q: Are there major differences in India and the West in the way research is carried out?
The level of professionalism and commitment in the West is very high and the systematic problems are very few. Over there, people don't feel that they are doing a lowly job. Whatever they do, they are happy doing it. This is where we need to be professionals. We need to inculcate this in our research as well.
Secondly, it is important to have brighter people around you. In the West, there is a sense of encouragement if another person does better than you. We need to create competence among people. It all boils down to getting the right and bright people, and get them motivated.
Q: Do you think policy-makers can play a key role here?
Right now, there is a huge energy crisis. If we do not have our own solutions and develop technologies, we will have to start importing them. If we do not invest in science, we will have no options in the future, and we will become irrelevant to the world.
Today, it is up to the political parties and systems to understand this. There are short-term and long-term solutions. We need to learn to evaluate every decade. Often very soon we tend to say that we can't do this or that.