An interesting article on Indian Science Policy.
It is not enough for the prime minister to resort to platitudes by saying (as in his recent speech) that “things are changing but we cannot be satisfied with what has been achieved”, or that we should make “scientific output more relevant”. He and his advisers must ask themselves if there are underlying causes for this lack of satisfaction and relevance. Until then, no amount of bankrolling, populism, bureaucrat bashing or whistle-stop tours by prominent Western scientists will help.
In this part of the world, age is blindly equated with wisdom, and youth with immaturity. This facilitates the continuance of the status quo. Geriatric individuals with administrative and political clout reinforce their positions so well that we are unable to eject them. So we hail scientists in their eighties, film actors in their seventies and cricketers in their forties.
These variants of corruption — along with general indifference, absence of incisive introspection, old-boys' networks, administrative vindictiveness, vagaries in research funding and studied silences — conspire to create an atmosphere that lacks innovation and creativity.