T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan: Proximate bottoms of shallow barrels

T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan: Proximate bottoms of shallow barrels: Time has come to award the economics Nobel just once in five years...

Nobel idea!

“Proximate bottoms of shallow barrels” by TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan (Business Standard, Line and Length, October 24), gives deep insight into the legacy and relevance of Nobel prize as an instrument to promote academic work to excel for the benefit of humanity. Let Nobel Committee consider the suggestions for making the prize more efficient and relevant.
That the writer missed the work of a Nobel prize awardee and was caught unawares when asked to write about him cannot be a reason to make the economics Nobel award a quinquennial affair. It is another matter, if Nobel Committee decides not to award Nobel for economics or any other stream in a particular year for want of qualifying nominations. We have been watching sharing of the prize by equally talented scholars in some cases.
 Back home, let us consider what can be done in India to recognize talent and research in various fields. While public funds out of budgetary provisions in India flow to higher education, incentives and encouragement for extraordinary work in academia or contribution to research and economic development are few and inadequate.
Some organizations in public sector and large corporates do support institutions like IITs and IIMs by funding or instituting chairs. But in many cases they do not go beyond an ‘on-the-job vacation’ for incumbents. If some system is put in place to evaluate and reward talents in different research streams, it will motivate scholars to excel in their fields.
Even TV Channels give away huge prizes to talented artists every year. Research is seen as a qualification for a job or taking up teaching as a profession and therefore the incentive to do better is lacking.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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