Thursday, May 25, 2006
'India's contribution to science dropping'
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Karaikudi (TN), May 19: India's contribution to the world in the field of science is dropping rapidly and it is now just 0.5 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent in 2003, Prof C N R Rao, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory council to the Prime Minister, said here today.
India was far behind the US which contributed 50 per cent and China which accounted for 8.7 per cent, Rao said, delivering the First "Faraday Lecture" on "Science for our future: Personal reflections on five decades of Research", organised by the Central Electro chemical Research Institute.
India's contribution to high-quality research was one per cent two years ago, compared to 65 per cent from USA, and 25 per cent from Europe. Now it was just .5 per cent along with Brazil, said Rao, also President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Even China's contribution to high quality research was just .5 per cent two years ago. But they had caught up and they contribute two per cent. China's contribution to Physics had doubled, now it was almost equal to Japan, he said.
Even in the field of Nano Technology, in which India made some pioneering theoretical research when some people ridiculed the term "Nano", China's contribution was 50 per cent compared to one to five per cent from India.
Last year China contributed 500 research papers of which 140 were published by the Physical Science society, but India contributed only 90 papers though 60 were published, he said.
Rao regretted that the number of people taking science research was dwindling, as the field was not lucrative nor was there moral and spiritual support for the science community.
Bright people from the South, who were once interested in science, were going after Information Technology and helped foreign companies earn money. "People work for minimum degree to earn maximum money, this is not a healthy trend."
He was concerned that the 'IT industry virus', which destroyed the basic interest in science and diverted the student's interest towards materialistic things, was spreading to states like West Bengal and Orissa from where best science students were coming up.
Warning India would not have a future if she did not contribute more to science, he said several world science bodies were closely monitoring the neglect of science by India.
"Our candidates are not even nominated for best research papers awards by international bio-science forum. If our contribution is so low, how do we get into world science bodies?," Rao asked.
Rao said China had understood that only by doing more research in Pure science, they could make more inventions.
China is investing USD 500 million compared to India, which invested only Rs 30 crore. "We need to invest more. Even the best IIT in India is not comparable to the worst institute in Israel," he said.