A think tank is a body of experts who provide advice and ideas on specific political, economic, cultural, technological and military related issues. India stands fourth on footing in the number of think tanks in the world.
Several of Indian think tanks usually feature in the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index. Some think tanks of India are Observer Research Foundation, Centre for Civil Societies, Centre for Land Welfare Studies, NITI Aayog, Centre for Science and Environment, etc.
Although India is consisting of good number of think tanks, still they are not able to measure up with the level of quality and quantity of information as required in the contemporary world. The Indian ruling establishment want India to be leader in global knowledge economy and in realizing the $5 trillion economy ambition steps have to be taken accordingly.
Think tanks help the country gain insights into how to formulate a plan and execute it in the best possible way. But the Indian scenario is quite the opposite. The Indian scene is dominated by large number of tiny sized think tanks, most of whom have become personal fiefdoms of egoistic individuals. India will suffer in its global endeavors and aspirations for the neglect of the knowledge sector.
The main thoughts incorporated in the minds of individuals and the powerful companies is that why to invest in indigenous think tanks which are not having the adequate potential which can be matched to the levels of the think tanks of other powerful giants.
The Indian elite is enslaved by its small mindedness and short-term goal. It refuses to believe that India too could be leading knowledge producer in any field. So this is the sole reason and the main driver for us to look and borrow ideas and initiatives from the other countries. The private sector in India has enough financial resources to support the Indian think tank. But here also the same rule is being followed.
The donations being provided to the established universities and foreign think tanks which are of global standards. We currently lack the requisite expertise on our neighbours: China, Myanmar, Iran, and even Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Economic expertise, in particular, is missing at many Indian institutes.
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Generally, the task undertaken by the think tanks are not given due acknowledgement they deserve. They are considered ineffective. As the Indian think tanks do not receive appropriate funding and recognition, they end up amalgamating the ideas of the west and cannot enrich themselves with the indigenous ideas.
One more reason which forms the pillar of India losing think tank efficiency is that the brilliant minds of the researchers is getting drained outside India to institutions like Yale and Carnegie. The amount of money they earn there is sufficiently high to evade them from coming back and contributing to the still developing think tanks of their own country.
The USA is famous for the burgeoning ecosystem of lobby groups, campaigning bodies and policy networks feeding off Washington DC’s Capitol Hill, so it’s no surprise that America houses more think tanks than any other country. When compared to the think tanks of the developed nations of the world India is still lagging behind and have miles to go.
American think tanks are constantly researching solutions to a variety of the world’s problems, and then arguing, advocating, and lobbying for policy changes at local, state, and federal levels. The think tanks importance can be assessed by the number of scholars currently working for the think tank which is a huge number when it comes to America.
Think tanks such as The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, The Earth Institute, The Human Rights Watch etc. are world renowned and have fulfilled their significant part in helping the nations of the world and also bolstering the economy of USA. Indian think tanks have not been able to acquire the same type of potential the USA think tanks are possessing.
Even the think tanks of countries like Lebanon, Brazil, Egypt and Argentina have institutions ranking higher than the best that India has managed. For example The Human Rights Watch publishes hundreds of reports on violations of international human rights norms in an effort to draw attention to abuses and pressure governments to reform.
Other countries of the world generally agree with the reports and try to reform their methods of dealing with the human rights. Indian think tanks have to increase the source of information it gathers and boost its knowledge processing capacity. The results regarding any domain on which the think tank works should lay the foundation of the policy being made for the welfare of the nation and its citizens.
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The measures that can be undertaken by the Indian think tanks to increase their prominence are giving more priority to research over convening, quality needs to be given priority over quantity, more autonomy and transparency should be maintained in the works being done by the think tanks, think tank scholars need to interact more with the government and last but not the least the research has to be useful.
The research should always be concentrated on the future policies of the government so that it can lend a helping hand to the government in the necessary domains.
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