India vs.China: R&D

The prime minister’s speech at Bhubaneswar at 99th India Science Congress made many revelations about the nation status on R&D after six plus decades of independence. As usual, I felt like compiling a data on India vs. China. The objective is to tell academicians and policy makers of the nation that India must rise and let them help in this by making education a mission without which a nation can’t become a super power.

1.India published 233,027 scientific papers in 2010 compared to 969,315 research articles by China.

2.China recorded a 22.83% growth in publishing scientific research compared to 14.27% by Indian researchers.

3.On an index of state of art science, China was placed at 0.86 with India coming on the negative end of the scale at -2.48 though the citation levels (how many other researchers read the papers) was higher for India than China on average.

4.India had 159 areas of competencies in different scientific fields while China had 885 such areas. While India is publishing more in chemistry. engineering, biology and biotech, China is publishing a lot more in computer sciences, medical specialties, mathematics, physics and health sciences.

5.China patents five times more than India for every billion dollars of GDP and the growth in registering new patents has risen rapidly over past five years. In 2005, China had filed 93,485 patents and this galloped to 153,060 in 2007.

6.China is going to target investing 3% of its GDP into scientific endeavours by 2020 while India is still ‘aspiring’ to ramp it up from the current 0.9% to 2% by 2017.

7.China’s GDP is $6,980 billion as per IMF compared to India’s $1,843 billion. China investing about 2.5% of its GDP last year in S&T works out to $174 billion compared to India’s 0.9% which works out to roughly $16.5 billion.

8.Even a decade ago in 2002-03, China had 8.5 lakh researchers producing 40,000 PhD theses in sciences compared to India’s 1.5 lakh people producing about 1,000 PhD theses in R&D.

9.While China invests heavily through state-run scientific institutions, it also pulls in a large amount of private investment from outside. It has nearly 100 international research facilities that have come up since 2003.

10.India’s public investment in R&D has, in comparison, gone down with time and has been unable to attract partnerships with the private sector as well.

11.Among the four nations that have achieved an all-members-gold IMO (International Maths Olympiad) with a full team, China has been at the top with 11 times, Russia and USA 2 times each and Bulgaria 1 time. Is it not surprising that the nation of Bhrahamgupta, Bhaskaracharya, the inventor of zero and decimal, is no where in mention?

12.The Global Innovation Index 2011 ranks India at 62 among 125 nations’ innovativeness, while China is at 29. Interestingly, the main author of the Index is an Indian.

I shall agree that there are very rational reasons for India’s poor performance. I shall discuss that next time.

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