Politicisation of educational institutions has ruined the quality of science research in Bengal, once known as the intellectual capital of the country.
“Appointments of vice chancellors of universities, and that of teachers in colleges and universities in Bengal are controlled politically. This is spoiling the ambience required for academic excellence,” said the director of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IIESR) Kolkata, Sushanta Dattagupta.
IISER, Kolkata is one of the five IIESR’s in the country created by the Government of India to promote education and research.
“Bengal contributes 50 to 60 per cent of studnets in PhD programs in basic sciences through out the country. But political interference drives most of these studnets to other states,” said Milan Kumar Sanyal, director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SNIP).
SINP, based in Kolkata, works under the Department of Atomic Energy.
Sanyal and Dattagupta were speaking in Kolkata after a media interaction on Sunday.
“Bengal once boasted of scientists like CV Raman, SN Bose, Meghnad Saha, Sir Jagadish Chandra. Bose, KS Krishnan, PC Mahalanobis. But now the state is unable to hold on to men of caliber,” remarked Alok Krishna Gupta.
Gupta, a Bengali and a scientist, is Vice President of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and director of National Centre of Experimental Mineralogy and Petrology, Allahabad.
“Due to political interference most scientists of Bengal settle outside the state. They rise in different research institutes but do not prefer to come back to the state,” Gupta added.
The ruling Left Front in Bengal has been regularly criticized for taking a grip on the education sector.
In a recent recognition of the criticism, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee recently initiated the process to turn Presidency College, a 192-year old educational institution into a university.
SNIP is hosting the closing ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebration of INSA.
President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil would flag off the three-day program on December 7.