India has a long and ancient mathematical tradition. The texts for the construction contain a lot of geometrical results. Thus statement of the Pythagoras Theorem, an approximate value of ‘pi' i.e. the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter came into existence. The decimal place value system and the number ‘zero’, was given by India to the world.

Mathematical career has been regarded as synonymous with a teaching career. The situation in general is that those who fail to join professional courses leading to gainful employment come to research as a last resort.

In reality the situation should be the opposite. Those who are passionately involved in the subject, taking research as a career. It is indeed possible to build a perfectly satisfying career in mathematics if one is deeply interested in the subject.

Look at the job scene. A trained mathematician can be very well employed outside academia. Government departments engaged in space research (the Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO), defence research (Defence Research and Development Organisation, or DRDO), aeronautical research (National Aeronautics Limited, or NAL), all employ mathematicians to solve their special problems.

Purely research-oriented institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) in Chennai, and The Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI) in Allahabad are autonomous aided institutions and fully supported by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India. TIFR is now a deemed university, while the IMSc and the HRI are affiliated to the deemed university called the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) that covers all other aided institutions of the DAE.

Some other institutions of teaching and research are also there which can offer degrees but do not come under the University Grants Commission (UGC) such as Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), the IITs, the IISc, and the newly set up Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) in Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, and the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bhubaneswar (set up by the DAE).

All the institutions of research and teaching have well-established and transparent methods of selection. The need of faculty in these institution are so great and the supply so less that the age of retirement has been increased to 65 for these institutions and in many cases they are allowed to re-employ faculty members till they are 70. Hence for those who hold a doctoral degree have plenty of job opportunities in such institutions. Even the existing institutions like the IITs also face continuous attrition due to retirement of faculty members engaged from 1960s onwards.

Source: The Hindu

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