Ph.D. In Sciences : Does It Secure Your Future In India?

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As a final year science student, I’ve been asked this question too many times: what do I intend to do in future? While pursuing science does offer a lot of incentives in the form of scholarships,a country like India does not have much to offer to its scientists.

AN EMPLOYMENT NOT ASSURED

According to a recent article in The Hindu, of the 6,000 people granted science PhDs annually, not even 2,000 find decent employment today. Most people intend to join academia following their PhDs, which does not have the proportional vacancies. Finding a job in the industry is even more difficult because India yet does not have the required industries to absorb such skilled personnel.

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Thus,finding unemployed Ph.D. holders with many published research papers is not uncommon.

VAGUE SELECTION PROCESS

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To be able to do Ph.D. in sciences, you need to qualify an entrance exam having a fixed pattern. Thus, the candidate’s ability is checked by how well he or she performs in an entrance exam. Very few institutions take an interview.

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Thus, even if a candidate has innovative ideas but is unable to crack the entrance exam, he/she has cannot further his dreams in India.

SERIOUS DEARTH OF IDEAS

Most candidates have not thought of their research topics when they write their entrance exams. This can be attributed to our education system which kills our innovation and forces us to follow a predefined pattern of textbook studies. Nobody has the time or any incentive to think out of the box!

Most candidates do Ph.D. out of compulsion, rather than an interest.

FUNDING

It would not be wrong if I say, we do not value our scientists. Most researches are funded by the government and hence, they need to keep in mind certain parameters while doing research so that they get a government grant.

A scientist’s performance is evaluated on the basis of how many scientists¬†trained under him. Hence they end up producing more scientists and the vicious cycle continues.

ADDITIONAL SKILL-SET NECESSARY

Considering the present situation of Ph.D. holders in our country, it is imperative that science students focus on acquiring additional skills, suited to the needs of the industry. Simply going abroad is not an option for every student. Ideas should be valued more than academic brilliance and until that happens, India will never do well in research.

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Smriti Mishra
Struggling through her final year at Miranda House, Smriti has a keen interest in events happening around her. Unapologetically nerdy and emotionally reserved, you'd often find her sondering across streets of North Campus.

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