A daunting task

Research Problem refers to the enigma in the field of enquiry that the researcher has to face and ultimately come up with a comprehensive and testable solution to the same. This process of research comprises two things – finding out a Research Problem and coming out with a solution. Though looking so simple, research actually is a time, money and mind consuming process. If the Research Problem is not selected appropriately, after years of enquiry it may end up with nothing, but a proof that the Research Problem was faulty. There are a number of things for the researcher to keep in mind:

First, in the current circumstances, problems caused by internet blockade need to be considered. A researcher in Kashmir is literally cut-off from the developments in research in the rest of the world. He is unable to login to those research repositories where he has already paid a hefty amount. He is unable to attend the conferences, seminars and webinars. From the institution side there is a pressure of completing research in the specific time period and on the other side work done is negligible. This causes a lot of stress in the mind of a researcher. A good number of researchers have already lost their mental health because of such psychological issues.

Second, there is an enormous need to build the infrastructure in the departments where research is taking place. If the corporate companies are working on the lines of building the sound and peaceful work place for their employees, why is infrastructure not built on the same pattern in research institutions? There is dearth of labs, equipment, chemicals, machinery, books and libraries. At many places researchers are even facing the problem of space, where they could brainstorm.

Third, there is no nexus between research and social policies. The ultimate objective of research is to develop the society on scientific and developmental basis. Otherwise the research is of no use. Researcher takes a social problem and comes up with a suitable and applicable solution. Research finds the need in the society and comes up with a product.

The fruits of research can be tasted only when applied on ground. While formulating policies if the policy makers won’t take relevant research into consideration, the results would be not only minimal but hazardous as well.

Fourth, it is not just the case of Kashmir, but that of whole India that research has lost its charm and beauty, largely because of the lack of good research culture. Neither the supervisors nor the researchers are actually involving themselves into the research. If the researcher takes things easy, so does the supervisor. The institutions concerning the research hardly take the note of the standard of research. There is no sincere effort to build the research culture on standard lines.

Fifth, the relationship between the research supervisor and researcher is very close. This relationship needs to be built on strong lines. A research supervisor must have to look into the diverse characteristics of his to-be scholar at the very time of viva-voice. There should be some scales of determining the compatibility between the two. If the relationship between the duo is based on truth, open-mindedness, mutual understanding and empathy, it would ultimately lead towards a research in which the scholar would love to enquire more and more with much dedication and responsibility.

Last, but not least, a research supervisor must also understand that his relationship with the scholar is professional. So there is no chance to destroy the relationship by giving domestic or personal assignments to the scholar. This trend has been widely seen throughout India. It creates a sense of inferiority and lack of interest among scholars. Supervisors must understand the individuality of their scholars and their relationship must revolve around the research, nothing else.

HILAL AHMAD TANTRY is Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, University of Kashmir