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Leading Science and Technology: India Next?

Leading Science and Technology: India Next?

January 2018 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

In a world buzzing with artificial intelligence, gene therapy, 3-D printing, and brain implants, where does India stand? India is not yet a front-runner in creating new knowledge and world-changing inventions. India does not even feature among the top 10 countries in scientific research.

In this book, Varun argues that India would risk its economic progress, technology industry, and social development if it does not lead in research and innovation. He deliberates on how we can make India a leader in science and technology and uses a data-based approach to highlight the various limitations of India’s research ecosystem. He demystifies how discoveries and inventions happen through stories and personal experiences.

The book provides concrete, well-reasoned steps to build a “Scientific India.” This is essential for India’s success and for serving the cause of human progress.

Foreword by Desh Deshpande
Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Introduction
Leading Science and Technology: A ‘Must-Do’ for India
Research in India: The Past, Present, and Future
Researchers: Attracting Our Best Minds
Resources for Research: Speed, Accessibility, and Merit
Research Environment: Connecting, Collaborating, and Competing
Research, Industry, and Science Entrepreneurship
Questioning the Existing: Research Questions That Matter
Building World Class Universities: Policy and Institutional Structures
Leading Science and Technology: Vision for the Future
Notes and References

Varun Aggarwal offers a compelling, data-driven, and analytical march through India’s science landscape. While we might not get science to the stature of cricket or Bollywood in the Indian imagination, at least we have to try to make it much more discussed. There is no substitute for a laser focus on science to foster social and economic change.

Tarun Khanna,
Professor and Director, South Asia Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USAJorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School and Director, South Asia Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

India has the potential to solve its own problems using science and technology. In doing so, it has a shot at solving the world’s problems too. This first-of-its-kind book discusses how the nation can achieve this by taking advantage of its unique strengths. Varun weaves databased insights with stories to demystify the world of research and India’s position in it. He cites several interesting examples from his days at MIT and as an entrepreneur developing research-led products out of India. Science and technology are not some idealistic “good to haves”; they have increasingly become instruments for progress, and Varun’s thoughtful passion shows the way.

Sanjay Sarma,
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Vice President for Open Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

This book is a must-read for people who want to learn more about science in India, as it offers a comprehensive account of India’s science and technology ecosystem. Varun examines the national policy on science and innovation, the workings of India’s top research institutions, the role of industry, and the mind-set of India’s research personnel. Meticulously researched and based on a wealth of new data comparing countries across various research metrics, this book marks the start of an important and long-overdue dialogue in India about its position in world science and technology.

Pradeep K. Khosla,
Chancellor, University of California, San Diego

Just like you cannot imagine the Silicon Valley without Stanford, this book highlights the need for innovation backed by scientific research! To catapult India to the global stage of innovation, we need worldclass research institutions, empowered researchers who tackle challenging original problems, and a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurs. This book is for any individual who dreams of an India that creates globally competitive start-ups and pioneers new technologies.

Akshay Kothari,
Head, LinkedIn India

It is a pity that India’s scientific output isn’t commensurate with the talent present in the country. This book explains why and warns about the opportunity cost of not acting. Varun presents a first lesson in the much-needed mentoring at various levels and for various actors to change the course. He nails it with his discussion around the importance of picking relevant problems, multidisciplinary research, building end-to-end solutions, tight partnership between industry and academia, and nurturing of appropriate ecosystems. A must-read for students, professors, researchers, policymakers, corporate leaders, media, and even parents who continue to exercise great career-related influence on the future protagonists. Simple yet subtle, critiquing yet constructive, Varun tells an engaging narrative that comes straight from his heart while also leading by example at many places.

Sumit Gulwani,
Research Manager, Microsoft, USA and Inventor of Flash Fill in MS Excel

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ISBN: 9789352805082