Proud as I am of the APJ Abdul Kalam, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Homi Bhaba, JC Bose, Vikram Sarabhai and a few others, however, I still feel that we have not produced as many innovators as we could have considering the average IQ of Indians and the rich knowledgebase that we carry (especially in medical science).
In my point of view, innovators develop a lot out of the education system of any country and in our country the best brains have more incentives to be attracted to the industry than to the education system. How often have you seen the thinkers of your batch pursuing careers in teaching and not going in for attractive abroad pay packages ? Even the professors of most university departments that I have come across (dont know about the IITs which could well be completely different) are pretty much interested in making tution money and spending time in trying to make good public relations to help them grow, get the desired transfers etc etc etc. I just remember one physics professor of mine who wrote a whitepaper on electronics and got it published too, however, he too spent most of his time taking tutions.
I guess the whole story behind this is the approach towards education in our society. Tutions shouldnt be meant for making money, it should be meant for help for students who have trouble following whats being taught. However, if the students are screened before being admitted to a particular program for interest, there wouldnt be much requirement of help if the professors choose a planned and professional approach to teaching in the departments itself. Also, its upto the education system to ensure that the professors prefer to teach in the classrooms than in their houses in the after hours, therefore, they really need to paid well… and in my point of view, paid at par with the industry. Thats how it would become a real career for the people who have enough potential to be the next Newton or the next APJ.
Imagine India where names of our university departments would be taken in the same breath as MITs or Cambridge. And the next generation gadgets, technology and science branches would come from our country and spread across world after that. Where we wouldnt be fighting to become a nuclear power nations like a bunch of others who already are and we wont be struggling to acquire the latest technology aircraft from european country BUT we would be making the next generation submarines, the next generation detection systems and the west would be fighting to acquire the status of a Ganesh Power. Thats the India I wish to breath in …