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INDIA: AN EMERGING SCIENCE JUGGERNAUT SIMPLIFIER



  Jun 03, 2024

INDIA: AN EMERGING SCIENCE JUGGERNAUT SIMPLIFIER



Current Status of India's Scientific Research:

- India ranks third globally in research output and eleventh in quality.

- The number of universities increased from 760 to 1,113 between 2014 and 2021.

Challenges Faced by Indian Scientific Research:

- Many universities lack essential resources like advanced labs and access to scientific literature.

- High costs of accessing commercial journals, with institutions spending ₹1,500 crore annually.

Initiatives to Improve Access to Resources:

- I-STEM: Catalogues all publicly funded research facilities in India, making them available to researchers.

- One Nation, One Subscription (ONOS): Proposes a centralized subscription model for scientific journals.

Is ONOS the Best Solution?

- Current Trend: The fraction of Open Access (OA) publications has increased, making many articles freely available online.

- Concerns: ONOS may not be cost-efficient if a significant portion of research is already accessible for free.

What is Open Access (OA)?

- Definition: Articles are freely available online to everyone.

- Global Push: The U.S. and European Union are mandating immediate open accessibility of publicly funded research.

What is Green Open Access?

- Practice: Authors deposit a version of their work in a university repository, making it freely accessible.

- Importance: Ensures long-term preservation and global accessibility of research.

Why is Open Access Crucial?

- Ensures long-term availability and preservation of research articles.

- Reduces dependency on costly subscriptions to commercial publishers.

What Should India Do to Become Self-Reliant in Science?

- Promote Green Open Access: Archive taxpayer-funded research in publicly funded OA repositories.

- Improve Domestic Journal Systems: Create a system with no payment burden on authors or readers.

- Leverage Digital Technology: Develop and share digital infrastructure for low-cost, high-quality scientific publishing, especially for the global south.

Strategies to Elevate India's Scientific Stature: A Blend of Initiatives and Achievements

India's scientific landscape is witnessing a transformative phase, driven by strategic initiatives and remarkable achievements. The government's recent efforts, like the establishment of the National Research Foundation (NRF), and the country's noteworthy accomplishments in various scientific domains, showcase a promising trajectory for India's scientific stature.

Government Initiatives:

National Research Foundation (NRF): The NRF aims to foster a culture of research and innovation across universities and research institutions. By funding competitive research grants, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, and nurturing young talent, the NRF is poised to invigorate India's research ecosystem.

Increased R&D Funding: The government has steadily increased its allocation for research and development (R&D) activities, signaling a commitment to bolstering scientific endeavors.

Focus on Emerging Technologies: India is actively investing in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence,biotechnology, and renewable energy, positioning itself as a global player in these critical domains.

International Collaborations: The government is forging partnerships with leading scientific institutions and organizations worldwide, facilitating knowledge exchange and collaborative research projects.

India's Achievements:

Space Exploration: India's space agency, ISRO, has consistently achieved milestones in space exploration,including the successful Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) and the Chandrayaan lunar missions. These feats highlight India's capabilities in space technology and planetary science.

Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology: India's pharmaceutical industry is a global powerhouse, known for its production of generic drugs and vaccines. The country's biotechnology sector is also thriving, with advancements in drug discovery, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Information Technology: India's IT sector has been a major contributor to the country's economic growth. The country's prowess in software development, data analytics, and cybersecurity is recognized globally.

Scientific Research: Indian scientists and researchers have made significant contributions to various fields,including physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. Their work has been published in prestigious international journals and recognized with awards.

Challenges and Future Directions:

Despite these achievements, challenges remain. India needs to address issues like limited funding for research, inadequate infrastructure, and a shortage of skilled researchers. To further elevate its scientific stature, India should:

Enhance R&D Funding: Increasing investment in R&D is crucial for sustaining and accelerating scientific progress.

Strengthen Infrastructure: Upgrading research infrastructure and establishing state-of-the-art facilities is essential for fostering a conducive research environment.

Promote STEM Education: Encouraging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education from a young age can nurture a pipeline of future scientists and innovators.

Encourage Innovation: Fostering an innovation-friendly ecosystem that supports startups and entrepreneurs can drive technological advancements.

By addressing these challenges and building upon its strengths, India can continue its upward trajectory in the scientific realm, contributing to global knowledge creation and addressing pressing societal challenges.


SRIRAM’s


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