I am referring to the English word, not the Hindustani one. The dictionary definition is "a person who is of equal standing with another in a group". In other words, a research paper or application for grants is to be reviewed by my equals, particularly by someone who is working in the same area of specialization and/or has expertise in it. Performance appraisal is also supposed to be done by peers. In highly specialized areas, it is often quite difficult to find even half a dozen people who can be "peers" of this kind. \nIn India, the situation is still worse. True "peer review" has never existed in India. Here "peer" is taken to mean someone who is superior to you in ranking, not necessarily in knowledge or scientific achievement. The review is, therefore, done by titular superiors or sometimes even by persons totally unconnected with science of any kind. Citing from actual situations, the work of a biochemist or an entomologist could be reviewed by a physicist or an irrigation engineer. The reviewer could even pass on the job to a student or to a clerk in his office. The formally designated "peer" will, of course, put his signature at the bottom of the report. \nI don't foresee or hope for any change in the "system" in the near future.