August 13, 2009

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Think-Tanks in India

I have been associated with the inauguration of many think-tanks since I retired in August, 1994. The majority of them ceased to function after two or three meetings because of:

firstly, over-ambitious agenda;
secondly, a tendency to focus on spectacle than substance;
thirdly, ego clashes among the members of the executive; and
fourthly, lack of public and corporate support.

In India, neither the public nor the corporate houses are interested in encouraging think-tanks. More and more think-tanks are accepting foreign money---mainly American money---- because they find that no funds are forthcoming from the Indian public and corporate houses. I know many leading corporate houses of India which would rather get an assessment or study made for them by a foreign think-tank than by an Indian think-tank because they find that the research staff of Indian think-tanks is more wishful-thinkers, breast-beaters and apologists for the Govt than analysts and they over-indulge in jargon. There is a need for a study on how to improve the quality of our think-tanks. Our think-tanks have become essentially event and seminar organizers. They hardly contribute to research and analysis. I often talk to young researchers. They are a dispirited lot. They feel that they are being used more as event managers than as researchers and analysts.

-- B.Raman


India said...

It's true there is an absolute need to encourage you researchers if India is to prosper.

Nitin Sharma said...

How can people like us contribute towards analysis and research. Since it is sth where our interest is and we feel bad when we see our policies getting failed. Please guide, we want to contribute in nation's interest.