Monday, October 18, 2010

Monopoly On Nobel

I glued my eyes on my television set for past couple of days, hopping that even a single Nobel would roll up to India. I kept my finger crossed and being an apprentice of science, I prayed for a miracle. However, as accustomed by the old tradition, India returns empty handed again. But what makes Americans or Englishmen to be a topper? Why can’t Indians reserve a seat in the club of elites? If we have glimpse over the Indian history of Nobel prizes, we find just 7 Indians in the club (including VS Naipaul although he was Trinidad born). I tickle my wit, run my psyche across several severe thoughts and finally landed upon three-point reason why Indians lag behind in the race of Nobel.

Firstly, to understand India’s failure at international forum, we must comprehend the selection process for the prizes. According to the statutes, the selection committee should consist of a board of five Swedish or Norwegian citizens, with its seat in Stockholm. The Swedish King in Council should appoint the Chairman of the Board, with the other four members appointed by the trustees of the prize-awarding institutions. In other words, the right of rewarding totally rests upon the handful of Swedish or Norwegian. There is no international agency for assortment. And it’s obvious that Swedish’s likings would favor its own interest.

Secondly, the politics interfere in the selection process of awardees. History remains witness that dozens of deserving candidates have been excluded from the list. Though Nobel Committee denies such charges of political interference, the roots can be found by magnified scrutiny. The finest and awkward illustration of such scams is ignorance of Gandhi’s contributions. Though Gandhi was thrice nominated for the recognition, yet the messiah of humanity and the founder of instrument of non-violence remained out of the radar of selection agency. Why? Sweden had affable relations with English at his time and Sweden probably feared that valuing Gandhi’s part would take the thorns for Sweden. However, in 1948, the year of Gandhi's death, the Nobel Committee declined to award a prize on the grounds that "there was no suitable living candidate" that year. Moreover, Gandhi is not the only island to be isolated. Several scholars deem that the committee had been more broadminded toward European writers and put others out of the radar.

Thirdly, we Indian are to blame for our breakdown. We never show our fascination in the field of research. The highest-minded Indians are more intended towards higher paid jobs. Since research work doesn’t pay much, youngsters prefer to attach with MNC, which generally flood their pockets. Moreover, those who believe in research have a preference in western countries, which provide much more technological assistance and financial backing. Brain drain is eating up our aboriginal endowment.

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