Tuesday, April 9, 2013

More doctorates

Professor Balaram discusses about producing more Ph.Ds. An important data that should catch the attention of policy matters is that

The NSF survey goes on to poll the foreign students regarding their future intentions. For the period 2005–11, 86.4% of Chinese and Indian students indicated a desire to stay on in the US; the highest amongst all the countries from which students were drawn. China the emerging (or emerged) superpower and India (a country actively wooing expatriates) do not seem attractive destinations for recently graduated US Ph Ds.

While I have my own theories and opinions on why this is so, it is best left to policy makers to ponder on this and come up with feasible solutions. Some opinions are given here.

Two articles on open access: Book review and editorial

PS:Sorry for the long absence in the blog. It has been very busy (even busier than usual) and I have not even looked at the comments in the blog. It may be better now that the financial year end woes seem to have ended.


Dheeraj Sanghi said...

There are two reasons why the comparison with NSF data is not valid. One, it talks about median number of years since joining graduate school, and hence it is including the time taken for MS (which many people do). Two, a fairly large number of students go part-time in between their PhDs, sometimes take a break between MS and PhD, etc. When I was a PhD student in US, I could notice that those of us who did PhD full time finished rather quickly compared to those who were part-time.

If we could somehow factor in these points, my gut feeling is that we will find PhD duration n top Indian schools to be marginally higher than US PhD durations.

Anonymous said...

In terms of academia: here are 10 practical reasons (outside difficulties of conducting research in a country with lot of poor people etc) of choosing an academic career in US versus that in India: a subset of the 86%. One may term these as repeat and well known but no harm in revisiting a known problem. Constructive criticism and rebuttals are most welcome. Lets think how these could be solved.

1. Salary and remuneration for good research. Absolute values far overrides any PPP argument.

2. Inability to absorb the finest talents due to severe scarcity of the same. Lets consider a Fields medal caliber young Indian mathematician is contemplating return to India. Does he have few people of similar standard here for his daily mathematics ?

3. Too much politics and jealousy in academia.

4. Nepotism at all levels.

5. Work culture i.e. same standard for performing vs. non-performing.

6. Corruption in daily life.

7. Women getting pawed and harassed in daily public life (outside institute). For both women scientists and wives of male scientists this IS a severe problem.

8. Relatively few examples for internationally acclaimed Indian researchers working in India. Success brings in more success at all scales.

9. Shoddy ranking of Indian universities.

10. Selfish non returning Indians who gives a damn to the state of their motherland. No sarcasm intended.

Anonymous said...

I myself came to know that one of the senior scientists of ISRO (IISc alumni) is trying to influence a member of the sponsored PhD interview committee for a PhD candidate (from ISRO only) so that quality of interview for that candidate is lowered (by asking easier question) and that candidate get chance do to PhD form IISc. The aim is only to get the "stamp" of IISc for future "purpose". This is a straight forward canvassing. Such an incident is not acceptable at all where the quality of IISc students is concerned. I like to know whom should I inform this so that proper action can be taken. I know name of all the persons involved here; I shall reveal those to the concerned persons only. Also I can not reveal my name also; otherwise my future will be in danger.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

As academics, I don't see why we should bothering ourselves with the question about whether we are over producing Ph.D. The market will send out the signal of demand/supply excess/shortage. Our job is to simply excel at our job - ie, produce the best PhDs we can and as many as we can. I don't agree that we should endow ourselves with a level where we are taking decisions for the society, for PhD aspirants and sundry, especially since, there are variables there which have no control over. We should honestly convey information we have about availability of jobs post PhD, but not concern ourselves with how many PhD to be produced at the national scale. This belief that some individuals should decide what is good for the country, rather let the country decide for itself (a kind of patriarchal socialism, also patronizing) is substantially responsible for the rot and demoralization of the people of our country.

rrskartikeya said...

Dear Professor,

i am a post graduate from anna university in vlsi and embedded systems .Currently i am working in a vlsi comapny in bangalore.I want to know what is the procedure to get admission to phd in iisc bangalore.


Wilkerson said...


Here is the link for PhD and other graduate admissions at IISc:

Next time, kindly refrain from posting questions under unrelated threads -- be it in this blog or any other.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof. Madras,

I am a B.Tech from one of the old IITs . I have been offered an ME at IISc based on my GATE score. However , in my application , while filling out my SGPA for all the semesters of B.Tech , for the eighth semester I had entered the CGPA instead of the SGPA for that semester . I came to know of this error after I had submitted the application. Will my admission be cancelled at the time of verification of the documents. I am interested in taking up this course, and I am really anxious because of this

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous above, who is worried about reporting incorrect marks to the IISc admission office: YES, please do the right thing and inform the office as soon as possible. If you are staying in Bangalore, it might be even better to go there personally. If not then please CALL them. Do not try to write an email. It might get lost in the flood of admission related emails.

An ex-IISc ME Student.

Anonymous said...

I am the person above who responded to the student who is worried about reporting incorrect grades: If worst comes to worst note that it is better to get the admission offer revoked now that later in July/August. In Aug you would have rejected all the other offers and would end up with nothing. At least now you would have the option to chose the one you really deserved based on your real marks!!!

All the best!

Anonymous said...

"I am a B.Tech from one of the old IITs"

Who cares if u r frm IIT of ITI man. U r just one among the other who filled the application form.

Anonymous said...

dear sir
i have received interview call in initiative mathematics e interview..
i am a b.tech in biotechnology. please suggest me hoe to prepare foe interview. what kind of questions i might be asked? please help...

vergere6 said...

It's great to see you posting again.