Going against the grain,the first batch of 19 students that graduated from Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CBS),Mumbai,this year has opted for a career in research.
CBS,a joint initiative of Department of Atomic Energy and Mumbai University,was started in 2007. The institute offers a five-year integrated MSc programme in basic sciences after Class 12.
Most students have stayed back in India to pursue research, said Prof S M Chitre,chairperson of the CBS academic board.
Debunking the perception that youth study only to get a job,16 students from the first batch have opted for top research institutes in the country,while two have gone abroad. One student is teaching at Khalsa College,Mumbai.
I was interested in computational physics and wanted to go deeper into the science. Hence,I rejected a job offer. My parents were initially hesitant and suggested I take up the job,but they are happy with my choice, said Udaya Maurya,who is pursuing PhD in astrophysics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR),Mumbai.
Trends in Higher Education Creation and Analysis of a Database of PhDs,a study released in 2010,had concluded that only 0.25 of those who enrolled at the graduate level went on to do PhDs in India.
PM Manmohan Singh had also rued recently that Indias position in the world of science had been declining and it had been overtaken by countries such as China.
Ambiance makes a huge difference. It is important to create an environment where students are excited about a research career. Students who graduated this year were driven to do research. They were not driven by money, said Prof R V Hosur,director of CBS.
While two students are pursuing PhD in life sciences/biology at National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS),Bangalore,two have opted for theoretical sciences at Harish Chandra Research Institute,Allahabad.
I graduated in physics but I choose to do PhD in biology because I believe there are many problems in this area that can be solved by applying ideas of maths and physics. Life in sciences is slow,but one can focus on many unexplored areas and opportunities, said Parmeshwar Prasad,who is doing PhD in biology at NCBS.
Two students are pursuing theoretical astrophysics and experimental high energy physics at TIFR,one has been selected for PhD in Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics,Pune,and another is doing PhD in engineering physics at IIT Delhi.
While three students were selected as junior research fellows at CBS,three are junior research fellows at Bhabha Research Atomic Centre. All students have undergone intensive training, said Kishore Menon,officer-in-charge,public relations,TIFR.