‘In India, it’s easy to be depressed if you are a scientist’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/in-india-its-easy-to-be-depressed-if-you-are-a-scientist/

‘In India, it’s easy to be depressed if you are a scientist’

The biggest block for innovation and research in India is fear of failure.

Rather than improving on already existing theories, it is time Indian scientists invented new things, said Bharat Ratna C N R Rao Friday.

The scientist was in the city to deliver a lecture on ‘Doing Science in India’. The event was organised by the Pune International Centre at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics.

Commenting on how Indian society is yet to understand the importance of failure, Rao said, “Indian society is a judgmental society. The biggest block for innovation and research in India is fear of failure.

We as a society find faults easily. Hence scientists today are afraid to do new things and hence bank upon improving the old things because if they go wrong in doing new things, then people are ready to pull them down for their failure. Hence it is easy to be depressed if you are a scientist in India.” He further said, “How will young people grow and succeed if they are not allowed to make mistakes?”

Talking about the difference in research in the past and the present, Rao said, “Earlier the infrastructure and funding was very less for research, yet there was a lot of research. Now, however, in the last 20 years, the infrastructure has improved a lot. But in the last 30 years, I have not seen even a single major headline made by science in any newspaper.”