Friday, July 10, 2009

Research – It’s mostly search!

A year and half back my friend got into a university for part-time research work in physics leading to Ph. D. I had the idea that those who do research in basic sciences generally strive to discover something new break-through technologies or processes. But to my surprise, I found that all she was doing was searching on the net for some already published papers on the same area and making some incremental modifications or adding just a bit of thought/point-of-view and coming out with a new paper of her own! I was very critical of her and even lambasted her for what she was doing.

Now in the second year of MBA, I am doing the same thing for my Term Paper (which is sort of a research paper) on a topic in the field of Economics. Even most of the regular Fellow Students here do the same – literature review, coming-out with some minor modifications and just writing the paper, more than 50% of which contains contents from already published papers. In other words, most of the research scholars hardly come up with any radical ideas. It seems only those in the World Bank, IMF and the equivalent institutes do something noteworthy.

Well, this might not be the right approach, but given the other constraints I realized that this is the prevalent practice in India and will continue.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sarod Maestro Rajib Chakroborty’s Special Class on Creativity at IIM Calcutta

Last week the renowned Sarod player Rajib Chakroborty visited our campus to take a special class for the course Management, Culture and Creativity. He played a beautiful morning raga (jonpuri) to start with. Then we talked about how to cultivate creativity and how music can play a role to budding managers like us. What he told is listed below in brief.

The spirit of the past

I wonder how easily a person whom one knows for years suddenly becomes a creature of the other world! She lives a stone’s throw away from your house. She is just a call away. But you can not visit her. Your call won’t be responded. You can only imagine what she is up to. You pass by her house and your heart throbs faster and faster but you have to calm it down by all ways and means. You look for her glimpse among the crowd and you make mistakes after mistakes but you can not stop looking for her. You have volumes of feelings trying to reach her but you have no channel to carry them to. You try to say a thousand words to her but you end up telling them to yourself. Your brain wants to burst. Your eyes spill over. Your pent-up emotion billows like a thick smoke finding escape routes. But whatever you do you suddenly find that you can’t reach her – at least in a gentlemanly manner.