The Prime Minister, Government of India: Research students need your care

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Dear Friends,

This is only a two line petition to Prime Minister of India:

'Research students need your care, Increase the scholarship amount of Research Scholars'.

I sincerely request you all to sign this petition and let us collectively raise the voice of Scientific Community of India to the concerned authority. To support this, I am attaching an open letter to PM based on my personal experience, same which is the experience of many researchers in the country. The petition along with the letter will be sent to Prime Minister Office with a copy to many concerned.

As you can see in the above photo (few school children of Dhanbad), I interact with many school children and college students esp from villages. To encourage them to study well and love science, there should be some hopes for their future life as well. Hence Please sign and encourage all your friends, relatives and contacts to sign the petition, not only students, but all those who love humanity and science, value knowledge, wish to see India prosper and all good human beings across the world are requested to sign the petition. Our silence will harm the future generation. Hence Let us contribute the best we can.

No body to lead, no body to follow. Let us move together.

A little candle is enough to wipe out the entire darkness in a room.

Loving regards

Truly Yours Sreevalsa



The Prime Minister,
Government of India,
New Delhi.

Dear Honorable Prime Minister,

Kindly accept humble greetings from a young researcher of your country!
I gratefully welcome the decision of Govt. to honor a scientist with Bharat Ratna, which is indeed an honor for Scientific research in the country. This gives me the courage to express my grievances which I have been suppressing for years.

I was born in a poor farmer family in one of the interior villages of Kasargod (normally labelled as backward district of Kerala). I did all my studies in Govt. schools/Institutes, from primary to high school to B.Tech to M.Tech to PhD. I am very much grateful to Govt of India and all citizens of India, because of whom I got the opportunity to dedicate my life in pursuit of knowledge. After my PhD from Indian Institute of Science, I served as International Research Staff at UPC BarcelonaTech and I had an offer for post-doc from University of Canterbury, New Zealand, but I did not apply for that, rather with my heart's call, I preferred to join Indian School of Mines Dhanbad getting involved in setting up the Department of Civil Engineering.

I am very much satisfied that I could make my technical contributions (eventhough very little) in terms of works published, holding of various academic and administrative responsibilities, involving in various technical projects, mentoring many students and in delivering lectures promoting science and higher education at different colleges and schools especially in villages, which I am still continuing and will continue. I am very much fulfilled with the happiness associated with knowledge both in acquiring as well as in sharing.

I am 28 years old now, but if I look into my bank balance, today it is INR 2,822. I have no complaints as I never cared for money or personal comfort. but, there are many innocent people who helped me in the past, having their hope on me and there is pressure to marry as well. Forget about having a married life or helping those who helped me, even to buy a winter wear, I have to borrow money from my friends or siblings.

These personal concerns do not trouble me much, as I prefer to lead a very simple life and my family and relatives are of very understanding nature. My major concern is 'What message this truth is giving to the youngsters of the country who wish to take up academics or research as their career?' India has more brilliant people than any other country and most of its population is from villages, middle class families or low income families which possess the best of brains. If this is the condition of science in India, with what conviction, young researchers like me can motivate the little village kids to pursue science?

Research/Academic life is a sacrifice. I may not be even qualified to be called as a scientist, but I have got opportunity to interact with and listen to many eminent scientists across the world. They are not less than saints, so dedicated towards Science and humanity. It is the responsibility of the State to support them to have atleast a descent personal family life for they would never prefer a luxurious life. We cannot expect everybody to become Archimedes or Newton. I served as Chairman of Students' Council at Indian Institute of Science and hence I closely know many bright minds pursuing PhD at IISc, struggling to meet two ends.

In this context, I request you to kindly recommend MHRD to increase the scholarship amount of M.Tech/MSc/PhD students, which would give a little relief to the young minds to do science peacefully. If I write this letter during my studentship, there would have been a sense of selfish motive. Now, I am a faculty member and I am not asking anything for me, but for the aspiring young minds who value and love knowledge. We cannot blame the scientists who go abroad for Science is border-less and it is natural for people to go where knowledge is valued and respected. To make science alive and flourish in the country, we need to keep an environment where it can grow without barriers.
I am submitting this petition along with the support of many students across the country. Kindly consider and do the needful.

Thanking you in anticipation
Sincerely Yours
Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar
Assistant Professor, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad
On behalf of Research Students across the Country
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- Tagore

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