Money's worth?

Published: Tuesday 30 September 2008

Down to Earth Investments in the research and development (r&d) in India has grown from Rs 760.5 crore in 1980 to Rs 24,200 crore (as per 2008-2009 budget allocation). This is 0.8 per cent of the gdp

Down to Earth From 1996 to 2006, expenditure has increased by 180 per cent. But the number of research publications increased by only 95 per cent

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Global share
Down to Earth India's share of publications, between 1996 and 2006, increased from 1.84 per cent to 2.41 per cent; it ranks 12th among top 20 countries

Down to Earth China's share during the period increased from 2.55 per cent to 10.49 per cent; it ranks 4th

Down to Earth Industrialized countries showed a decline in the number of publications during the period

Subject priorities
Down to Earth India's focus has been more on conventional basic sciences; most publications are on physical science (41.2 per cent)

  • Publications on medicines and engineering, though registered a growth of over 120 per cent, the overall output is low
  • Research on issues related to public health and energy receive scant attention; 5,447 publications (2.18 per cent) released during 1996-2006
  • Most productive research areas are medicine, chemistry, physics, agriculture & biological science, engineering, biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology and the material science
Down to Earth China's focus is more on applied sciences such as engineering (50.7 per cent)

  • Works on physical sciences, health science and life science are low in China
Down to Earth Most studies by industrialized countries such as the us and the uk are on health and life sciences

  • Publications on health science in the us is 35.38 per cent and that in the uk is 37.73 per cent
  • Publications on life science in the us is 33.44 percent and that in the uk is 33.31 per cent
Problem area
Down to Earth Of the vast science and technology infrastructure in India, only a few perform. There are over 300 universities, 400 research labs, 13 institutes of national importance, 1,300 in-house industrial r&d units, among other institutions in the country. But the distribution of research publications is uneven

  • About 85 per cent of India's total publications come from 7 states Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh
  • 35 institutions contribute 47 per cent of the research works

Shift in global publications share of selected countries
Country Number of research publications Per cent share of publications
1996 2001 2006 1996-2006 1996 2001 2006 1996-2006
USA 335,228 321,750 362,060 3,699,272 30.05 24.80 21.79 25.39
UK 83,710 85,276 116,469 1,039,024 7.50 6.57 7.01 7.13
China 28,505 60,654 174,402 817,637 2.55 4.67 10.49 5.61
India 20,514 24,159 40,062 297,840 1.84 1.86 2.41 2.04
Brazil 8,594 13,560 26,504 172,410 0.77 1.04 1.59 1.18

Source Status of India in Science and Technology as reflected in its Publication Output in Scopus International Database, 1996-2006

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