Research, Innovation, and Ranking: Prof. Govind ji Pandey

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Research, Innovation, and Ranking: Prof. Govind ji Pandey

Research, Innovation, and Ranking

Research is a very popular term in India as we have witnessed steady serge in the enrollment of Ph.D. Research Scholars in different Indian Universities.

India stands tall in the number of doctoral graduates produced on a yearly basis. As per Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, we are producing slightly over 24,000 doctoral graduates. India is ranked fourth against the USA that produces 68,000 and tops the list. 1

Research is very important for the development of any country. The recognition of a country on the world education map is analyzed on the basis of their performance in research and innovations. MP3 and GPS technology is the product of Research Studies and we need more such studies/innovations by the Researchers. India is doing well, as we are the only country in the OECD list from emerging economies.

In India, most of the doctorates produced are in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Unfortunately, the Social Science and Arts are comparatively neglected by the Institutions as far as quality of Thesis is concerned. Most of the work in the Social Science and Arts area are not finding a place on the world education map and we hardly have any world-class organization in the field of social sciences or Arts.

In the World ranking the Indian Institutions are way behind in terms of quality output in the field of research and innovations. If we look at the list of Nobel laureates, we hardly have anybody that we can say is a product of Indian Universities. The list of Indian Nobel laureates reflects our achievement in the field of research and innovation.

• Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize in Literature (1913)

• C.V. Raman, Nobel Prize in Physics (1930)

• Har Gobind Khorana, Nobel Prize in Medicine (1968), He shared his 1968 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Robert W Holley and Marshall W Nirenberg.

• Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Prize (1979)

• Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar, Nobel Prize in Physics (1983)

• Amartya Sen- 1998 He was rewarded "for his contributions to welfare economics"

• Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (VS Naipul) 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature.

• Venkatraman Ramakrishnan- He received the 2009 Nobel Prize "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome". He shared the award with Thomas A Steitz and Ada E Yonath.

• Kailash Satyarthi

• After working for years for the welfare of children, Kailash Satyarthi, along with Malala Yousafzai, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

• Abhijit Banerjee

• The latest one to join the list is Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee. Interestingly, he is also the sixth Nobel laureate with a Bengal connection.

If we look at the achievement of smaller countries like Israel, who have won 12 Nobel Prize and if we look at them as community nearly twenty percent of the Nobel Prize is awarded to Jews/Yahudi Community. From 1901 to 2020, 930 individuals and 25 organizations got the prestigious Nobel Prize in the field of Research and Innovations.

Where do we stand?

In comparison to small countries of the world, we are not doing that well. Countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sweden, etc. are visible on the world education map, but we are not there. A few science-based educational Institutions have find place in the top 500 lists of Institutions of the world. IIT's, IISc's, and some of the Indian universities, JNU, Delhi University, etc. are relatively better placed than other Indian Universities.

If we look at the problems of the Indian Universities the biggest challenge is to maintain the inflow of resources for research and innovation. If you ask the Vice-Chancellor of any Indian University regarding the problems of research in Humanities and Social Science,

their answer would be, fundraising for research. Which is the biggest problem and the weakest link to develop research and innovation culture in the Universities. The amount of consultancy and the number of teachers engaged by the industry is very small. Most of the consultancy projects are in the science and technology area.

Support for patent and Intellectual Property rights is required. The Universities must provide support for the processing fee for patent and IPR activities.

"Innovative research requires stimulation at the beginning level. The budget for scholars in state universities in most parts of India is meager.

The Central Government is providing UGC fellowship to the students but in State Universities, researchers are not getting any kind of monetary support. This affects the initiation of any new projects and is bound to affect the ideation stage and curtails creativity.

The UGC scholarship and other scholarship stipends are always delayed and it hampers the daily routine of the researchers. Sometimes the money is released after one or two years, which means that the students lack resources in the beginning of the research and wanders for help to keep him alive.

In most of Universities, the students after deciding the research topics never get permission to change it if they find some other elements during the research. They stick to their original ideas.

The education system that we followed after independence was based on a non-flexible model where students were supposed to follow a single line where there was no u turn. The teachers are mostly authoritative in nature rather than assisting the research scholar to find a suitable/workable area of research. The research topics are mostly decided by the research supervisors rather than the scholars. Till the time research scholars equip themselves with the knowledge of research a very important phase of research is already over and now they have nothing in hand. In most of the cases the research scholars stick to their original plan and changes are not appreciated by the supervisor or the department.

Research Infrastructure: In most of the Indian Universities particularly in Humanities and Social Sciences, if you want to shape your career as researcher, you will not find a place to do it for a longer period. The science stream researchers are a bit lucky that they have many research centers across India but the research organizations focusing on Humanities and Social Sciences are very few.

A researcher who is willing to analyze behavioral changes and impact of smart phone in rural India, and if he needs ten years or more for study, he will not find a single Institute offering any help.

Ancient Knowledge Dissemination System:

If we look back to our ancient knowledge system the education was based on the interest of the students. Students were allowed to learn whatever they were willing to. That was very similar to choice based credit system that we are trying to implement now. If someone who is pursuing science and willing to learn Music, he/she must get a chance. In theory we have this system but in practice we lack it. The reason is simple, lack of resources.

The New Education Policy has brought certain changes in the education system and focus is now shifted on learning rather than degrees. The degrees were never given importance in our age-old system. It is the Britishers who brought so called modern education system which changed our learning style.

The Ancient knowledge has always focused on audio or rhythmic knowledge but the modern system focus more on visuals. We have grown learning the proverb that "a picture is worth a thousand words." But this is not true when it comes to sharing and sending knowledge.

A picture can be perceived differently by different people but the rhythm is universal and it gives similar feelings across the globe. For example a child crying or laughing or sound of music will always be same in every society. The basic concept of sound will not change in societies living at different time and space.

The real degradation of knowledge system started in India when Acharya Drona restricted his knowledge to royal families. The Knowledge was not transferred to the common man because Acharya was bound by his own promise that he would not impart training to common man.

Acharya Drona was forced to do that because the society did not take the burden of feeding teachers like Drona. Their families were deprived of food and shelter which ultimately played very crucial role in the shifting of dissemination of knowledg. In order to survive he sold his knowledge and a new education system started in India.

Now the New Education Policy has shifted from the earlier linear education system and flexibility has been provided to students. The students can choose different combinations.

The students are given choice but it is up to all of us to gear up for changes and provide a better learning opportunities to the students. If we would not implement the changes fast the benefits it offers could disappear very fast.


1) Deccan Chronicle, Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 | Last Update : 07:04 PM IST,

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