Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh's promise to double science funding over the next five years could lead to a scientific renaissance.
But that will only happen if it is accompanied by measures to strengthen the country's scientific infrastructure and encourage high quality research, says U.C. Lavania in this correspondence to Nature.
Lavania says Indian science suffers from a lack of coordination or collaboration across institutes, a disregard for scientific ethics, self-promoting leaders and too much bureaucracy .
Funding pressures have diverted scientists away from their core abilities to cater to the requirements of funding agencies. Self-financed courses have mushroomed, but these lack proper teachers and produce weak graduates.
Universities need a better infrastructure to promote high-quality education, and the government should create and enforce a model code of ethics.
Scientists must be allowed to pursue their own research agendas, adds Lavania. They should be encouraged to work with colleagues across different institutes, free from excessive red tape.