Monday, October 18, 2010

India ranks 10th in terms of scientific research

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 18: India ranks 10th in the world in terms of scientific research but it has to work harder to achieve its past glory of 1970s when it stood eight, according to a report of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

The TWAS, which is holding its 21st general meeting in the city for three days from Tuesday, pointed out that nevertheless, "India by any measure, is on a roll". Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the general meeting which will be attended by around 350 scientists and researchers from 50 developing countries.

According to TWAS editor Daniel Schaffer, "what’s true for India's economy is also true for science. The government spending on research and development has grown by 15 per cent or more each year over the past several years. While India has recently approached the one per cent threshold of expenditures in R&D as proportion of GDP, it still lags far behind other
countries." In India the percentage inched forward from 2.5 per cent to 2.6 per cent.

"Today, India ranks 10th in the world in internationally peer-reviewed scientific publications. That’s up from 12th in 2003. While India’s publication output has accelerated over the past several years, it
still falls short of its ranking in the 1970s, when it was eighth," TWAS said in its report ahead of the city's general meeting.

According to the report, the disparity in patents between China and India is even more glaring. In 2006, China received 2,452 patents while India received just 648.  The report, however, added that the good news is that the number of patents has increased with the rise of high-technology companies focusing on R&D.

On the environment front, India is not a polluting nation. India, which has some 18 per cent of the world’s population, produces just 4.5 per cent of the
world’s greenhouse gases. Approximately, six per cent of India’s energy is produced by renewables, largely traditional biomass.

Stating that India has some five million people working in S&T, TWAS report said yet, its ratio of S&T workers to the overall workforce is
about 120 per one million workers. In China, it’s 715. In South Korea,
3,700. And in the US, 4,600.

 "When observers look at where India has been and where it is heading, they see a rapidly emerging economic and scientific powerhouse that is successfully drawing on its expanding capabilities to build a vibrant
society characterised by prosperity and confidence.  India has a complex web
of S&T organisations that are moving ahead at a breakneck speed," Daniel said.

The opening ceremony will include the announcement of the 2010 winner of the Ernesto llly Trieste Science Prize and the official presentation of TWAS prizes, medals and certificates to the 2010 winners. Dr CR Rao, world renowned statistician and professor emeritus at Pennyslvania Sate University, will be given the India Science Prize.

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