April 12th, 2006


Who needs a PhD?

A few of my students have strayed off the beaten path and are currently doing M.Tech/PhD rather than working for XYZ MNC. A M.Tech/PhD opens up the doors for a career in research and teaching - two things which are currently out of fashion in India. Very few of the guys enrolled for a M.Tech do so with any real `research' objectives - they just want an IIT tag and wish to exploit its monetary potential in the job market - you will be surprised if you look at the number of students who opt for PhD after a M.Tech - so very few of them do it. Nobody says that you can't do research without a PhD; and I am told that it is often possible to obtain a PhD by simply presenting `observations and statisitics' - but in the general case, the number of PhD's which the top-tier scientific instituitions of a country produces in a year might be taken as one factor in measuring its `research potential'. I am sure that atleast in the case of Computer Science, such a study conducted in India will yield abysmal results. But who cares?