It appears a considerable spike is noticed in the drive of innovative spirit in India. That is a very welcome sign. That means a meaningful change is in the offing. We are moving in the right direction. Can we tilt our mind a bit toward recognizing performance instead of giving undue importance to the academic qualification alone? The practice requires correction for full exploitation of available talents in India.
Let’s review some of the real stories.
S.N Bose was a brilliant student since school days. It was just a whim that he did not opt for a doctorate in physics. He took an employment as a lecturer in Dacca (current Dhaka) University. Bose was associated with many of Einstein's theory and research. Boson is a new particle discovered by him and named after him. When the question of promotion to the post of professor arose his lack of a doctorate came in the way. There were two groups for and against the appointment. One group was in favor, the other against for lack of requisite qualification. Lastly a compromise was reached between the two groups: a recommendation from Einstein will be considered equivalent to Ph.D. Einstein laughed saying “Don’t your countrymen know what you have done?” A mere letter from Einstein enabled S.N.Bose to get the promotion.
J.B.S. Haldane was only a B.Sc. He was credited with numerous research works in biochemistry and physiology. He served as professor in many European universities.
Later when he opted for Indian citizenship he couldn’t be accommodated in teaching profession anywhere. Jawahar Lal Nehru had to create a separate department to post him as its head.
Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan alias Kedarnath Pande didn’t have formal education even upto tenth level. He served as professor of indology at the Moscow University for two years.
Harvey Slocum with no technical qualification started his career as a laborer at a steel mill and retired as chief engineer Bhakra Nangal Management Board.
Nanak Chand (later Dr. Nanak Chand) an unsmart and shabbily dressed young topper of 1965 batch, Punjab University in mathematics couldn’t find a job in India. In America he was granted expedited citizenship. (I met him while I was at Hamirpur)
R.K.Uduppa, a medical assistant at district hospital, Mandi,H.P. had a knack for surgery. How he acquired the skill not known. He used to handle all surgical cases of the hospital. Nobody objected then but when the question of promotion came all turned against him – he doesn’t possess the required qualification.
There may be many such cases in the country. Due to lack of recognition of potential and reward they wither. Performance and ability should be given due credit and adequately recompensed. Else it remains forever untapped. Quality and quantity of creativity are not proportional to the length of qualification or lack of it. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are living proof of it. Ways to be devised how to harvest the optimum output of innovative talent. Overhauling of our entire frame of outlook may be a perquisite. We need to learn how to identify, attract, and retain talents in an organization. It will not be an easy task to reform a deeply entrenched legacy. However, a trial can be initiated in the direction. It may take a pretty long time to achieve the desired goal. Let’s have patience. But we must begin it at the earliest.