NEW DELHI: Indian universities and colleges, other than the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) may be getting dumber, according to a study commissioned by the Centre.
The study, by B.M. Gupta, a scientist with the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi, tracked the number of research papers published by research institutions in India, between 1985-86 and 2001-02. The study was published in December 2006.
It shows that the share of papers from colleges and universities declined from 52% in 1985-86 to 46% in 2002. In the same period , the share of papers from the IITs and IISc grew from 17% to 20%. Meanwhile, research papers from the industry grew from 1.78% to just over 2%. A total of 35,142 research papers were published in 2001-02 according to the study. Of the 1,672 universities and colleges covered by the study, 1,277 contributed only 4.6% of the papers.
The quality of university research papers is a measure of a country’s scientific ability. If the share of research papers from universities and colleges declines, it would mean that research students and instructors are not breaking ground in their research.
Gupta said the trend is likely to have continued since 2001-02, although he does not have the data to support this. It is also likely that the share of industry has increased. Over the past few years many multinational companies have invested in various research arms in the country.
But the number of Indian university-level papers appearing in international publications has increased significantly, from less than 1% of the total 23,153 international papers published in 1985-86, to 5.1% in 2001-02. “Our presence in international journals and the overall number of research publications have increased,” Gupta added.