Science -- "China is winning hands down the competition with India"
- From: ano457@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 19 Dec 2006 09:36:36 -0800
India losing the edge to China in science: Mashelkar
The number of research papers being produced in China has grown
Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
YOUNG ACHIEVERS: R.A. Mashelkar, CSIR Director-General, with the
winners of Scopus Young India Scientist Awards 2006 in New Delhi on
NEW DELHI: With a number of corporations setting up research and
development facilities in India, the country was all set to become a
major knowledge production centre, said R.A. Mashelkar,
Director-General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, here
He was speaking after honouring nine scientists during the presentation
of the Scopus Young India Scientist Awards, 2006.
Dr. Mashelkar used the opportunity to highlight India's losing
competitiveness in the field of science, particularly to China.
"China is winning hands down the competition with India," he said,
noting that in the past 10 years the number of research papers produced
in India had increased from 11,000 to 19,000, but in China they had
gone up exponentially from 10,000 to 55,000. "I mentioned this to the
Prime Minister also, and thereafter the issue evoked a lot of interest
and generated a debate, but more needs to be done."
Dr. Mashelkar said the event was all about celebrating success and the
very best of Indian science, as also the future of science and India.
There had been a "shifting of geography of science," and the focus had
now turned to the Asia Pacific. Qualitatively too, papers being written
in India now were much better. "We used to say `lets not write papers
which nobody will read,' but in the last 10 years there has been a
turnaround, and now our papers compare with the best in the world."
On the scientific tools used to evaluate research papers, Dr. Mashelkar
said while they were "tremendous," they had to be used rationally. Even
in the past, when these tools did not exist, India produced scientists
of the highest order.
Explaining the rationale behind the scientific community's interest in
the country, he said one could get the best intellectual capital per
dollar in India. "That is why I tell the politicians to invest more in
On the selection process for the awards, Dr. Mashelkar said there
should be an independent evaluation procedure, and applications and
recommendations should be discouraged. He called for widening the scope
of the awards to spot talent in smaller towns. He expressed happiness
that the awards sought to encourage young scientists, saying the old
did not need awards. "The funny thing about awards is that once you get
one, you get the second, and so on.''
Instituted by Elsevier, the world's largest publisher of science,
technology and medicine journals, the awards comprised a crystal trophy
and a cash component of Rs. 50,000. Elsevier managing director Frank
Vrancken Peters said, "India has contributed so much to the world of
science, and the award seeks to honour and propel India's young
research minds towards furthering Indian science."
The winners of this year's awards are Dr. Sunil Kumar Manna from the
Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, and Dr.
Rajesh S. Gokhale from the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi,
for biological sciences; Dr. Kumar Biradha from the Indian Institute of
Technology, Kharagpur, for chemistry; Dr. Shankar Doraiswamy from the
National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, for earth sciences; Dr.
Giridhar Madras from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, for
engineering; Dr. Abhay Gopal Bhatt from the Indian Statistical
Institute, New Delhi, for mathematics; Dr. Ganeshan Venkatasubramanian
from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences,
Bangalore, for medicine; and Dr. C.P. Safvan from the Inter-University
Accelerator Centre, New Delhi, and Dr. Tarun Souradeep from the
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, for their
work in physics.
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