Research in China

Once in China I realised how backward we are in the field of reseacrh

Imran Khan
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 16 2018 10:26PM | Updated Date: Dec 16 2018 10:26PM
Research in ChinaRepresentational pic

I was born in the era where Kashmir went through its worst phase, and which is still continuing in terms of political environment. The place where I live in Srinagar has seen it all and it is really a challenge for both the parents as well as the individual to keep themselves away from the trouble. The anxiety that I still get while I look at the surroundings makes me measure the sub conscious effect of the turmoil witnessed since childhood. During this course of time I have lost many friends and students to this political turmoil. I really feel sorry as well as guilty that I could not keep them away from trouble. Perhaps the role of parenting matters a lot which is one of the reasons why I survived. Being the only son of my parents, they tried everything to save me so that I don’t get involved in any troublesome activity. They always kept me busy with the educational activities with the intent that they can see their son grow and develop. The other important factor that saved my life during teenage and until now is that majority of my free time I was either playing or watching cricket which proved very productive for me. Hence, most of the time I have spent in the classroom setup starting from school, college and the finally reached the highest seat of learning i.e. University of Kashmir where I spent almost 8 years or so and still continuing my Ph.D program. The only educational program that I selected with my own will was this Doctorate Research program and the only person who wholeheartedly supported me in this decision was my father. Initially others had different opinion in the family but later on they too got on board and supported me in this endeavour.  My father always used to pamper and motivate me about the importance of education from early childhood by telling his favourite couplet “Ilm Hasil Karnai Kay liye Agar cheen bi Jana Padai Tou Jao”. And by the grace of Almighty Allah this couplet of his became true in July 2018 for me as I got selected for fellowship program in Ecology at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,CAS.

The Research environment in China is completely different from the place where I spent my precious years. I don’t have words  to explain; perhaps only good thing that happened to me in Kashmir University was that I got in touch with those teachers who motivated me to go for this Ph.D program. Research is my passion now it is like a darling to me, but just after 15 days of my arrival in China I realised how retrogressive are back home. The amount of funding and research infrastructure they have here is world class. Most importantly, I was lucky to get the supervisor who not only provided the resources but constantly directed my research and monitored weekly progress. The report recently published by Elsevier, a publisher of scientific articles and journals places China at the 2nd number after US in their latest Research Intelligence report, which was compiled earlier this year. In this they have considered the research data from 2014 to 2017, which was globally accepted. The assertion that I am making gets completely justified with this report.

The Research Group meetings are held regularly where you discuss the latest research that is happening around the world with the aim to improve your own research as well as of group in general. After every 10 days or so you will present the latest literature in the group meeting and once in a month you will present the progress report of your research objectives or status of your manuscripts or share any new idea you developed. And most importantly, the Group leader or you can say supervisor, attends these meetings regularly. Social networking applications they use for sharing of relevant papers or files by forming groups. The most striking feature of this group is that your supervisor sends you latest research paper or other relevant papers according to your own specific objectives. Hence, it makes you constantly in touch with your mentor and helps in developing cordial relationships. The institutes or campuses are open all the time you can work any time of day especially working or studying at night is quite refreshing. I am still here and in coming months I will explore different universities or institutes in china to develop further insights into their research environment. 

I will conclude by saying if we need to raise our standards of research back home, we need to change our methods of conducting research as well as technique of mentoring our research students. The whole education setup needs urgent and serious reforms otherwise we will be lagging behind and our future generations will curse us. I was very fortunate that my both the supervisors in Kashmir University really helped me to develop and it is because of their efforts and encouragement it became possible for me to secure this fellowship opportunity. Also my friends helped me in every aspect to make this journey possible. I am optimistic that this sharing of little insight will definitely start the debate about the research environment, and will make the stake holders to ponder over the immediate reforms for Scientific Research.

Imran Khan  IS Currently Senior Visiting StudentChengdu Institute of Biology, CAS Sichuan, PRC, Research Scholar University of Kashmir

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