ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Scientists and Bureaucrats

Scientists and Bureaucrats THIS has reference to the comment on Science and Technology, 'Bureaucratic Manoeuvres', EPW, November 24, 1979. While it is true that the bureaucracy, has quite naturally, used every opportunity to expand its own power and impose its own culture in all spheres of governmental activity including science, it is neither fair nor correct to put all the blame for the present state of science and scientific institutions in India on the politician and the bureaucrats. The fact is that in their craze for power scientist managers have in no way behaved better than the politicians and the bureaucrats. The scientist managers have interpreted the freedom from day-to-day political interference as freedom from all accountability, while it should have meant accountability to the scientific community and society at large. If the bureaucrats have increasingly acquired more powers in the scientific departments it is because the scientist managers who, mind you, were given complete ascendency over the bureaucrats in their respective departments, sought their (bureaucrats') help and collaboration in fighting wars against the working scientists. A study of the increase of the bureaucrats power in a department like Atomic Energy where, to begin with, the scientists definitely enjoyed the pre-eminent statutes, would clearly show how this has paralleled the need of the scientist managers to suppress internal dissent. By selective use of rules and regulations the bureaucrats helped the scientific bosses in giving an appearance of legitimacy to their arbitrary and illegal actions, of a penal or a rewarding nature, against the working scientists.

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