18.12.12

1 Let me unearth this academic fraud

When it is well understood in other parts of the world that basic qualification required to teach in a university system is a PhD, it is ironical that India is producing just 50 PhDs per year in computer science area compared to 5000 in China. We never notice how much money we are paying when we buy a gadget (e.g. an iPhone, a 3DTV, a washing machine) as a royalty to the intellectual properties owned by someone else.   More PhDs in India means more intellectual properties which imply that the money paid by the common man of the country will remain in the country. I would never have thought about all this if I would NOT have encountered a series of incidences written below. I am attaching a screen shot of the email (at the bottom of this article) I have been getting continuously since last 2 years from agents in Bhopal, Hyderabad, Gujarat etc.


Actually, I have been lured by an agent of the academic mafia in a very strange way. I believe people in my position must have been enticed in the similar way. Modulus operandii of these agents are simple. Those researchers/scientists working in industries and have a PhD in engineering are approached by these agents like a regular head hunter. They promise to pay 2.5 to 5.0 Lacks rupees for providing Xerox copies of the academic certificates and for attending meetings twice a year in the institute. Traveling and hospitality expenses are promised to be borne by the institute. These meetings are nothing but the inspection by the AICTE team. With all Xerox copies of the certificates researchers are legally put on the payroll of the institute as a professor. When AICTE team visits the Institute for the inspection these researchers are required to be present in the institute which happens twice a year and convince the visiting team that there is indeed good research activities going on in the institute. In doing so, AICTE grants further goodies to the institute in the form of:  1. Increased admission intake, 2. More accreditation of the courses 3. further approvals of new courses etc.

Money can spoil the integrity of a common man. With 30 days paid leave in a year, I can commit to 15 such academic institutes in a year for such proposals which would fetch me 15x 3 = 45L rupees/year. Interestingly since this would be a black money paid to me mostly in cash, I would not need to pay any tax on that. It is a tempting amount indeed.

All these things are happening due to mismatch in demand and supply. A country which produces one million engineers (yes 10 lacs) every year, a country with 10000 (ten thousand) engineering colleges and each college having computer science and electronics engineering as main branches, 50 PhDs are just a drop in the ocean. Furthermore, India produces 1.8L electronics engineers every year. It means it requires 6000 PhDs for this branch alone and almost same number of doctorates for computer science too. Due to utterly mismatched demand and supply this type of fraud is going to increase in near future.

Teaching is one aspect and intellectual property is another one. Let us do a calculation how much money we as a common man of India pay as a royalty for the intellectual properties owned by someone else in other parts of the world. The so called "300 million middle class" people of India having purchasing power of more than 20,000 rupees per month are purchasing gadgets, medicines and essential commodities which were not in the country 15 years back. Out of these 20,000 rupees at least 100 rupees must be going to IP amounting to 100x 300 x 1000000 = Rs. 30,000 Million = $600m per month = 7.2 billion USD per year which is equal to the revenue of Infosys? Interestingly, we are losing an equivalent Infosys (which have given glamorous employment to 1.5 lacs people of India) every year because we don’t have the required workforce.

This academic fraud is merely a trivial example. As of now, we even don’t know how to manage our intellectual properties. I recently come to know that those who filed patent in year 2005 onward are still pending in the patent office of India. It is because there is no required workforce to evaluate the patents. What if, my patent is granted after 8 years of my invention? what is the use of it? I will lose interest in it. This big leap in the time span demotivates  for commercialization of my intellectual assets.

Bank balance is a property of a business man, for me my inventions are my property. What else an intellectual is ought to posses. It is sad that while government provides all required support to the business man, there is a chaos to protect my assets earned by my hard work.

Please see this sample email I have been getting since last 2 years.
 

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