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" The great reality of our age is science. The understanding of nature which science provides, and the deep harmony it unfolds, are deeply satisfying to the human mind. The power of science to transform society is immense, perhaps more than of any other activity. Equally real and pervasive is human suffering, starvation, pain, devastation, violence, loneliness and deep anguish of the soul. Science will suffer grievously and in the end reduce to a mockery, if all its power is not yoked to alleviate human suffering. "
         --Shri Raj Krishen Memorial Lecture at Delhi on October 11, 1977.

Dr. D.S. Kothari

Postdoctoral research is an important enabling step in grooming young researchers for launching an academic/research career. This is a transition phase from a largely supervisor directed student at doctoral level to an independent researcher for leadership position, particularly in academia. A postdoctoral stint also provides an opportunity to acquire new skills, broaden one's horizon and offers a platform for transiting into cross-disciplinary areas. Experience in other parts of the world has shown that university faculty is best inducted from among candidates who had a year or two of postdoctoral training and is generally considered an essential requirement. Mentoring for independent research is an indispensable element of postdoctoral training. Top rated institutions in our country which value research also follow this practice but it has not permeated widely. Leading research groups around the world usually have a good mix of postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students with the former bringing in a level of experience and maturity. However, in our country postdoctoral research culture has not caught on and is practiced only sporadically in a few selected places. Ironically, Ph.D.'s from leading institutions in India, particularly in basic sciences prefer seeking postdoctoral positions overseas. Within the country, a PDF position is mistakenly viewed as a mere parking opportunity while scouting for a regular appointment.