Indian Academics-Is the System Run by Few Non-scientific Professionals or Bogus Protocols?

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This petition has no intention to cause injury to any organization or authority, rather to bring out few facts on where Indian academic system stands and how this system judges standard of science and research. Why this petition used the general term "Indian Academic" is, the cheap protocols not confined to one institute only, but shocking to notice  meritorious academicians from IISc and IIT adopt exactly the same principle. India dream big to be recognized internationally, but our actions work hard to keep it as a dream forever. My few days at IISER Bhopal conveyed me that message and possibly Indian academicians need to evaluate themselves before they do so for others.

Institutes like IISER Bhopal hardly care about working office because free spaces under trees are provided for first 4 weeks. It is one's own responsibility to beg around sitting places with easy replies ‘we don’t know’ ‘it will be ready soon’ ‘trying to make it’ ‘tube light not working’. Faculty offices are sophisticated with a chair and a table inside residential colonies until one begs for at least a PC and printer (Resume).

Afterwards surprise gifts appear “The competent authority on reviewing your performance evaluation report submitted by the coordinator, Department of EES, for the above referred period took a serious note of the unsatisfactory performance reported upon……has approved for extension of your probation for a period of 6 months (probation)” Institute was little shy to disclose the actual evaluations to justify unsatisfactory performance. But finally no choice after repeated requests, “…BS-MS students and PhD students were disheartened by his teaching…. Dr. Paikaray has at different times expressed displeasure about the state of the department/institute and a general eagerness to seek career opportunities elsewhere. He has also expressed to various other colleagues about his unhappiness about the quality of faculty colleagues in his department…. Overall, Dr. Paikaray appears to be ill at ease in the department and is keen to jump ship at the first available opportunity (Aug 8, 2013)” So, this is the unsatisfactory teaching and research performance of a professor for IISER Bhopal!!! When requested for documentary evidences for any of these allegations, reply was so simple ‘no evidence/records/proofs available’.

Now the term of Professors from IIT Kanpur and IISc Bangalore; both being top ranked institutes of India “Dr. Susanta Paikaray is also an aqueous geochemist and has been involved in some projects related to arsenic pollution. However, he seemed quite disarrayed and disoriented and could hardly communicate. He did not even come prepared with a presentation despite being told and his attitude throughout the meeting and the rest of the day was quite disappointing. He seemed quite unwilling to talk about his activities and his communication was very poor”. .... “you are therefore advised to make use of the opportunity to rise up to the expectations of the institute. You are hereby advised to convey the reporting HOD about the plans being initiated for improving the performance. In the absence of satisfactory reply, the competent authority may review the same and decide suitably (Dec 23, 2013).” With a threatening this time –in absence of satisfactory reply – decide suitably”.

Science and research evaluation is completed, now the term how to evaluate salary. “…is under unauthorized absence from 24.03.2014 onwards without taking prior approval from the competent authority. In view of the same, till further orders no salary shall be drawn in respect of Dr. Paikaray, pending disciplinary action by the competent authority (salary stop)” The salary was stopped not only for that week, even till date the salary not paid fully. In fact, DoFA and DoAA were notified on 25.03.2014 itself by email with doctor prescription copy recommending for bed rest of 1 week (Mar 25 2014). Unfortunately prior approval was not taken in advance from authorities to fall seek!!!

After all techniques fail, now term is how to kick out; the first verbal warning by DoFA to resign otherwise your probation won’t be confirmed (missed to record the voice). Finally, probation was ended without confirming to a permanent category alleging unsatisfactory progress and performance during the period of probation (discontinuation). Unsatisfactory progress and performance possibly because 15 papers only in 2012-2013, 4.57/5, 4.23/5, 4.27/5, 2.55/4, 1.44/4 teaching scores, 2 PhD guidance, visiting professor honor by Germany, 25 lakh DST grant, Germany-India bilateral project!!!

Next mission was how to capture research data from office computer. All of sudden without intimation office was sealed (office lock) and car entry into the campus was stopped at main gate. Warning was issued ‘…you are advised to refrain from your attempts of trespass into the campus premises … ’ When requested for returning the research data and personal belongings, reply was ‘institute has not found any high valued research data in your PC. Therefore, the institute does not have any responsibility towards any sort of your documents/ personal belonging….(June 11, 2015)’.

So, this is the scenario how one Indian institute invites scholars and welcomes their joining with a warm farewell. There are several such incidences with many scholars beforehand. This may be one of the reason why number of resignation is the most from IISERB compared to other 4 IISERs; almost 50% of the total strength and NOT a single professor work there since its establishment in 2008. Most shameful to note is senior professors of well ranked institutes have no norms to evaluate the academic merit of scholars!

This is our academic scenario for which we should be proud for! We educate our future generations in these institutes, but we ourselves lack moral education. Country has a ambitious vision to be a world leader in science one day, but we judge teachers quality by talking willingness, arrayed and oriented or not, happy or unhappy, pleasure or displeasure, taking prior approval before sickness or not, jump the ship or climb on it! We regret on brain drains of India by words, but in practicality we support it seems.

My latest book on IISER BHOPAL academics (book).

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