Nobel for an Indian?
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been awarded the chemistry Nobel this year.
He joins a select club of scientists recognised by the Nobel foundation.
But Ramakrishnan joins an even more exclusive group — Indians (by birth) who received such recognition.
The country still awaits a second entry in the most exclusive group — an Indian who gets a Nobel staying and working in India.
So far only C.V. Raman, the founder-member of this club, qualifies.
In the days to come, Indians around the world, especially those in the country, will derive vicarious pleasure from another Indian (at least by birth) earning the top honour.
The Times of India listed India’s Nobel connections on their website, a list which includes British surgeon Ronald Ross and poet Rudyard Kipling — both born in India.
The list stretched to include all categories, as evident from above, contains only 12 names.
Whereas Ramakrishnan is the 13th Nobel prize winner from Cambridge-based MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology alone.
The WolframAlpha search engine returns an estimate of 14,172 patents filed in 2009 for U.S. for the query “U.S. patents filed”.
The comparative figure for China is 2097. For India it returns a figure of 256.
Why has no Indian working in India won a science Nobel since independence?
Is it the lack of multi-disciplinary approach in Indian institutions?
Is it our expenditure on R&D? Or the brain drain?