Monday, September 12, 2011

Lab assistants

In the article, BU rated best, but students, the correspondent says A researcher and professor from the university told Deccan Herald: “The fact is, be it here or in IISc, money matters. Pay a few thousand rupees to the lab assistant and he will give you whatever you want for a whole month. As much as 70 per cent of the funds provided for purchasing lab equipment are pocketed by the staff. Even the remainder of the funds is used very business-like.”

Lab assistants do not manage labs in IISc and I do not think the above applies to IISc. I do agree that it happens in many universities in India but not in IISc.


Vinay said...

yes, even at IIT Bombay, we have had things being misreported by the press. It is awful. I do not understand why do reporters fail to cross-check things and put them in perspective. It unnecessarily dents the image of the institute. And moreover, the clarifications are never read as juicily as the original misleading report.

Anonymous said...

Since the topic is lab assistants, I thought of bringing in a tangential issue... We don't (usually) have good technicians in the labs in India. On the other hand, in my postdoc lab abroad I was lucky to be supported by technical assistants who really knew their job. A good technician can do routine stuff like maintaining equipment (some I know even used to do routine sample processing in the cleanroom) and let the PhD students concentrate on research. Some labs in IISc did hire project assistants- but their quality varied widely. It might not be a bad time to start thinking about how we can train and retain good quality technicians (or support staff).