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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Hot Fusion

It's a good time to do science in India - if one is ready to dirty one's hands, ask uncomfortable questions.

Hot Fusion
Hot Fusion
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It's a good time to be doing science in India. Global names in diverse fields of science—biotechnology and agriculture, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, IT and many others—have settled down and are in business here. Lots of young, qualified Indian scientists are a part of this boom; there's a distinct "innovative India" buzz and many of those involved in science actually believe it's true. There's one problem, though. The good times need sustaining—and none of that will happen without serious reform. Funding remains a big issue. Despite recent announcements, the promised increase in government spending on science has not shown up yet as actual money flow. Higher studies in the basic sciences still languish, desperately in need of fresh blood—from cranking up syllabi and curriculums to streamlining and bettering the way teachers are recruited and good people retained. Research priorities are still lopsided, very often determined by international pressure and fund flow.

Even as our young and bright scientists push their individual efforts to create globally recognised science, they may need to get their hands dirty on a whole range of slightly sticky issues—linking their work with people's needs more effectively and with greater impact than they may have already done. They may want to ask themselves a few not-so-comfortable questions about the state of undergraduate teaching in the basic sciences across states, across universities and colleges. Or about wanting to work seriously on policy initiatives that cannot just improve science, but also the application and utility of it for ordinary people.

The following pages have stories from the Indian science field. Ten of India's best scientists and their work, 10 most compelling innovations in India in the last few years, and 10 of our best grassroots innovators who have used traditional knowledge to...
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