Thursday, August 17, 2006


Mashelkar for more IISERs

To tackle China on science, Mashelkar for more IISERs
Rituparna Bhuyan
Posted online: Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

PUNE, AUGUST 16:Nearly a decade ago, the number of papers published by Indian scientists in international journals used to be close to 11,000, while Chinese scientists could manage only 10,000. But last year, while Indian scientists published over 19,000 papers their Chinese counterparts managed a whopping 50,000 papers.

‘‘Leave aside Europe and the US, look at the huge investments made by countries like China, Korea, Taiwan and even Singapore in the field of education. Our investment figures cannot be compared with them. To address this issue, I made a presentation — Some Statistics and Some Concerns — on July 8 to the deputy chairman and senior members of the Planning Commission,’’ director general of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) R A Mashelkar said.

Pointing to China, he said the Chinese government was pumping in $125 million in each of their 10 universities. ‘‘Moreover, $225 million each will also be invested in Beijing and Tsinghua universities. Similar investments are also planned for 20 other universities,’’ he said.

He said the Chinese objective was to have 100 top class universities that will figure in the best 500 universities of the world.

Hence, Mashelkar has suggested a two-pronged strategy to meet the challenge of maintaining competitiveness in the Indian research and development scenario — supply and demand driven strategy.

‘‘Supply driven strategy means creating high quality manpower through institutes like Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER). In demand driven strategy, policies have to be formulated in such a way that it fosters the spirit of competition among the institutes,’’ he said.

Mashelkar said the country will soon have to address lack of top grade human capital for maintaining its competitiveness. ‘‘In fact, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, have prepared a concept paper on ways and means to promote scientific human capital. This paper will be presented to the President, the Prime Minister as well as the Human Resources and Science and Technology ministers within the next 10 days,’’ he said.

Mashelkar said issues like creating new institutes like IISER as well as supporting existing universities have been included in the paper.
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