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Poor Research Leads to Mediocrity

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Research leads to innovations. The purpose of research foundation is to enhance the scientific fervor among faculty and students to develop an aptitude, be in forefront of technology, elicit industry support for research assistantship, administer and execute contracts, agreements and award.

By Prof S Satyanarayana, Vice Chancellor, Osmania University, Andhra Pradesh

Research centre innovation is crucial for the progress of a society. Knowledge generated through research and innovation is the basis for sustainable social development. The research activities done by the industry is applied research whereas research done in universities is purely basic research. The integration of both industry and academia is extremely important for the overall development of society. This will ensure that research at the universities is relevant for the industry. Thomas Jefferson, the former US president rightly said if one wants to be a leader in the world, he must first have obtained higher education with a good research background. The Bush Commission in 1945 said that research should be the main product of universities and education is the by-product. The educational institutions must focus on both teaching and research for the development of the country. The former US president John F Kennedy, in 1960, had announced that America would send men to the moon and bring them back safely. He gave enough money to NASA and also to educational institutes for the research and hence, they did a good quality of research and today everybody knows that we can send a man to the moon and also bring him back safely.

dlThe integration of both industry and academia is extremely important for the overall development of society. This will ensure that research at the universities is relevant for the industry

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This was made possible with the help of the research. Similarly, the GPS was invented in Cambridge University, the birth of genetic engineering took place in Stanford University, discovery of DNA was done in Cambridge and Apple was born in MIT Boston – all these signify that research in the universities is very important and that most of the innovations come from the universities. There should be research foundations in all universities for the development of quality research. The number of patents that India produces each year is far less compared to US and Japan. The Government of India in 2009 had formally permitted to open technology incubation centres as new means of technology transfer. As a result, leading academic and research institutions in India such as IITs took the lead to establish incubation centre. Such initiatives should be extended to the university level too. The objective of research foundation should be to provide consultancy services, take up contract research for the industries, invite industrial scientists to work in laboratory to divide the partnership between the institute and industry, create in-house facility for small entrepreneurs to grow, promote creativity for technological growth and launch new companies in collaboration with entrepreneurs. If India does not create research-based colleges and universities, we will have only mediocre graduates, too low by international standards, running the national and international affairs.

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