It is important to clarify in the beginning that the word Labour means workforce and the word can be used in different contexts. So whenever the word Labour is used in the article it means a workforce and to be more precise a workforce that drives the research industry. It is also important to understand that Research Labour uses physical as well as mental powers to find solutions to a problem.
Today is May 1st and in most part of the world, it is celebrated as Labour Day. It is celebrated to commemorate the Labour movement that was able to provide overtime pay, minimum wage, health & safety, sick days etc. It is also important for giving the people the eight-hour movement with a slogan of eight hours of labour, eight hours of recreation and eight hours rest.
A Ph.D. is primarily a degree where a student solves is involved in solving a practical problem with his/her capabilities. However, in India a Ph.D. is also a time period in which a Ph.D. student is involved in overtime work hours, working for Supervisors personal chores, fighting administration to release the travel grants/ conference funds, protesting for a legitimate increment in the fellowship, waiting for funding agencies to release the funds.
All these problems demand a need for a new labour movement of researchers. The movement is needed to promote the importance of researchers for the growth of our country. The movement should be built to eradicate the malpractices that are prevalent in the research community of India. The movement should be able to address all the grievances of the researchers and the movement must not come to a halt until all the legitimate demands of researchers are met. The demand of fair treatment of researchers, monthly reimbursement of fellowship, hike in fellowship according to inflation rate, access to journals, fewer academic hurdles for travel grants and conference funds, timely award of Ph.D., addressing the gender biasedness and the most important thing is the demand for respect that the researchers deserve from supervisors.
Researchers are very important if not the most important soft power of India. Until now the Indians who are being honored with top scientific awards are working outside India, which shows that the workforce is capable but they can only flourish when given the right opportunities and when treated fairly. However, institutions like ISRO and individuals like Gagandeep Kang are showing that with appropriate motivation and treatment the sky is the limit for Indian researchers.
- Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester
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