Private views and observations on physics, society and
life in general
Though not as successful, I too have similar feelings about my Indian education and the atmosphere in TIFR in the sixties. We had top-notch mathematicians who did not try to force or persuade us in to their topics. I took up a topic in which nobody was working. M.S. Raghunathan and S. Ramanan went out of their way to study and give me talks in that topic. M.S. Narasimhan who was my official guide tried to find places outside where I could go for a while and pursue my interests. Good old days.
Thanks for the comment. In some sense, there has been an explosive growth in the number of institutes and numbers of individuals involved in research in the ensuing years, perhaps slowing down into the 1980's. I guess in the good old days, it was less of a rat race and one had more time to think things out. However, research and mathematics just like everything else has become a business?
There is some grey too. Some senior scientists at that time felt that they could not get in to some of these elite insitutions for whatever reasons (competetion, power-sharing problems?). It would be good to study the dynamics of these institutes, both internal as well as outside culture ,and their lifespan (in terms of excellence). My guess at one time was 25-30 years, but TIFR, ISI lasted longer. There are some good studies abroad like William Clarks's David Labaree's.If you know of any Indian studies, pl. let me know.
That will be the day, when Institutes in India carry out this kind of assessment.
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