Saturday, Sep 14, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Joshi said he had also planned to have consultations with State Governments, as universities, which have a major role to play in scientific research, are under their control.
The decline has been found to be both in qualitative and quantitative terms. For instance, a study has found that India has slipped from the eighth position in 1980 to the fifteenth in 2000 in terms of the number of research papers cited in the international science citation index.
In 1980, India had accounted for 15,983 papers, which came down to 12,127 papers in 2000. During the same period, China, on the contrary, had moved up from 924 papers to 22,061 papers and South Korea from 175 papers to 12,013. What has caused serious concern is that even in an area like mathematics, where India was considered to be in a strong position, India's share of the world total output of research paper was only two per cent, whereas the Chinese share was 10 per cent.
Pointing out that the decline had taken place even while the number of universities in the country had doubled and the expenditure on research and development had gone up by almost 16 times after adjusting for the real value of rupee, Dr. Joshi also noted that Indian scientists were faring badly in terms of getting the Fellowship of the Royal Society, let alone the Nobel prize.
It is sad that even in chemistry and biology, where India invested heavily, the last time an Indian got the FRS was more than 20 years ago.
The meeting with academicians and scientists would, he said, seek to analyse the real reasons for the decline, and identify the areas for immediate intervention, so that speedy corrective actions could be taken.
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