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CHANDRAYAAN .. and the dark side of the moon

So, the landing was perfect. Pragyan the moon rover got off Vikram exactly as planned and did all it was planned for, including an unscheduled hop, perfectly!

Back on earth, everyone commented that the team ISRO looked like people next door in a mofussil town, which some were, and therefore all the more creditable!

But, is a career in ISRO, or for that matter career, the Dos (Department of Space) the go to destination for the best and brightest in India, at this time and hour?

Migration of Indian scientists and engineers to the US has increased by 85% in 10 years, a report of the highest scientific body of the United States has said.

36% of the scientists in NASA are from India, but is it really a proud statistic of an independent country or a wake up call for the poor prospects in India for them?

"The cost of Chandrayaan-3 is merely Rs 600 crore, whereas a Hollywood film on space and moon costs more than Rs 600 crore". True, but why is it really so ? Apart from the innovation & cost cutting which may be the scientists' answer, the pay prospects are staggeringly lower, that's probably one reason for lower costs.

And if that is truly so, we will be guilty of strangulating talent and ideas by the most unimaginative way, by trying to trim science itself into a bureaucratic mould

If at all doing well as a CEO or an academic or as a scientist in the USA was the answer to all the country's problems, we should not be losing sleep over this.

But since it merely helps the politicians & bureaucrats to gloss over the reality of an unpleasant kind, it's time we cut out make believe & start to smell the coffee!

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