Thinkers from India: Business, Science, Technology, Management

While some Indians still keeps on priding in Venki‘s Nobel, though he might have disowned his pride in his India origin. Some others are busy in history of some Indians who missed the Nobel. I remember at least one name of Acharya Jagdish Bose. His story was quite a popular one in our school and college days. As the history says, Guglielmo Marconi received the Nobel Prize in 1909 for work on wireless telegraphy that relied on an invention by India’s Jagadish Chandra Bose. I never knew if Satyen Bose and Meghnad Saha also missed it as it appeared in one media report. But I had seen both of them as the celebrity alumni of Presidency College. Prof Satyen Bose visited IIT, Kharagpur too. Last year I had written about two Indians who are Nobel stuffs, but have missed. One was the economist Jagdish Bhagwati and the other the physicist, E.C. George Sudarshan.

And this year Narinder Singh Kapany, who was born in Moga (Punjab) and pioneered the science of transmitting light through glass fibres, missed it. The Royal Swedish Academy preferred to award of the 2009 Nobel physics prize for Shanghai-born Charles Kao for his work on transmission of light in fibres for optical communication and two others for their invention of an imaging semiconductor.

Hardly few in India know about these celebrity scientists. Why are they not known? Should not media devote some time on the people who work in the laboratories working to reveal something that can change the lives of the people? Among one of the reasons for the better success rates for the Indian scientists working in the laboratories of the developed countries is certainly the better equipment such as Synchrotrons that Venki has stated in his interview. But the scientists outside India are also having better exposure and get better working environment required for a breakthrough research too.

However, I was elated by getting a mail from Anand that had link that provided another reason for Indians for celebration. The names of five Indians appeared among the 50 best management thinkers (Thinkers 50) with CK Prahalad at the top. While three including Prahalad are Americans by now, the two are still Indians in every respect, and they are Ratan Tata and S. Gopalakrishnan, who co-founded Infosys Technologies Ltd. and has been its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director since June 22, 2007 and President since August 21, 2006.

How many of Indians have known him and could appreciate his being named as one of the best management thinkers in the world? Has the media done sufficient to project him as belonging to the class that he has been recognized by a foreign agency?

Vijay Govindarajan and Rakesh Khurana are other two among ‘The Thinkers 50’. I shall agree to Venki when he has said in an interview, “… And then you need luck.”

And I request the media to let the people know about the great Indian scientists and technocrats who are doing wonderful jobs in India and abroad. Why should they waste writing columns after columns about the unscrupulous politicians, so called leaders and corrupt bureaucrats and officers and showing them on the hundreds of small screens in prime time over and over again all time?

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