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Research push by DST helps India acquire 3rd place in NSF ranking

US-based National Science Foundation (NSF) released a report on ‘Science & Engineering Indicators 2022’, which showed India’s position rising to the third position in the year 2020 from seventh in 2010.
The report mentions that globally six countries produce more than 50% of the worldwide peer-reviewed Science and Engineering (S&E) publications. China and America occupy the first and second ranks with a contribution of 23% and 16%, respectively.
India occupied the third position in the global list with a contribution of 5% in producing worldwide Science and Engineering publications, followed by Germany (4%), UK (4%), and Japan (3%). In the year 2020, 1,49,213 research papers were produced in India as compared to 60,555 in 2010. Also, 5,629 patents were given to Indian scientists at the India Patent Office (IPO) in 2020-21 as compared to 2,511 in 2018-19. India has also increased its ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) from 81st in 2014 to 40th in 2022.
To qualitatively enhance the research ecosystem, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been developing modern innovative technologies through the Technology Business Incubator (TBI), which was given to 100 Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) across the country.
DST hopes to get increased funding in the upcoming general budget of 2023-24.
Of the 26 lakh global publications produced in the domain of Science, Technology and Engineering published in peer-reviewed journals, about 1.5 lakh research publications were submitted by Indian researchers. From 2010 to 2020, the recruitment of PhD teachers in IITs, AIIMS and IISER was done based on the ranking and the number of research papers published by them. According to DST, Indian students have been working on Material Science, Bioengineering, Genetics, infectious diseases, Stem Cell Culture, Space Research and Computer Vision for pursuing a PhD.
Speaking to Education Times, a source in DST on the condition of anonymity says, “In 2020, about 1.5 lakh research publications out of 26 lakh global publications in Science, Technology, and Engineering domain published in peer-reviewed journals, contributed by the Indian students. This led to an increase in the ranking in 2020.”
DST has changed the approach to enhance the research acumen of the PhD students. ”Many new IITs, AIIMS, and IISERs have been created which are encouraging research. Ministry of Education initiated ‘Imprint’ in 2015, which has boosted collaborations with the top foreign institutions. Research experts from abroad are invited to help in lab experiments, and understand emerging technologies and scientific methodologies in Indian universities and colleges.”
“The DST has been supported by National Science Technology Entrepreneurship Board (NSTEB). Also, we have a Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institutes (SATHI) programme wherein we support innovative research programmes related to Science and Technology in universities and colleges. In the last few years, even the filing of patents in India has increased,” informs the source.
Ramesh Chand, advisor, university advance and alumni relations, BHU, says, “Between 2010 and 2020, the recruitment of PhD teachers in IITs, AIIMS and IISERs was done on the basis of the rank of research paper produced by them. In addition to this, it was also mandated that the research papers produced by doctoral teachers must be associated with a high-impact factor. These eminent pioneer institutions of research in the country collaborated with several universities and colleges which led to an increase in research publications. This action transformed them into quality entities. However, the desired ratio between the publications and filing of patents still needs to catch pace in India, but in times to come that would also be achieved. This means that patents should be filed in sync with the creation of a number of scientific research publications. In times to come students should pursue research in areas that have a direct relation in fulfilling the goals mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

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