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Sunday, August 12, 2012

American Engineer-Scientist visits India in 1980 - his updates & impressions of Indian Technology & Research Institutes

Scientist-Engineer Dr. Nelson M. Blachman [Ph.D], in 1980, visited the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi [I.I.T.-D] & other research organisations.

"The 16 February, 1980, total solar eclipse that traced a path across Africa and Asia provided the impetus of a scientific tour of India sponsored by the American Astronomical Society. The 60 participants in the tour included over a dozen astronomers, along with assorted other scientists. This article summarizes information gathered during the course of the tour and at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, which I had been invited to visit afterward to present some lectures on statistical communication theory."

A piece of [TIL] information in the article that I found very interesting,

"In addition, TIFR has a new machine, the OLDAP - constructed from Indian components originally intended for the entertainment industry - which is tied to their bubble chamber and is functioning successfully, as well as such other US. minicomputers, such as a PDP-8 and a PDP-11."

His impression of the Indian school system, at that time, is also very interesting, though it needs to be considered if he came to the conclusion solely based on his observation of the students at I.I.T, or if there was something more to it,

"Many of these students turn out to be very good, particularly so because Indian schooling at the lower levels is at its best much more advanced than in the U.S. and because of the greater selectivity in India, but others can succeed in graduating with grades no higher than D."

He seemed to be suitably impressed by the kind of work that was being carried out in India, at that time, despite some serious handicaps Researchers here were facing. Read the whole article.



Related: Professor Dr. Yash Pal - Science for all [weekend viewing & reading]