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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

Mapping of Indian Science and Technology Output in a National and Global Context, 1997-2007

B.M. Gupta
Emeritus Scientist
National Institute of Science, Technology, & Development Studies
Dr K.S. Krishnan Marg, New Delhi – 110012, India\

Introduction

Science and technology pursuit has been a major planning objective of the country, identified on purpose to initiate, advance and accelerate national development in all sectors of economy. Consequent upon this policy initiative, India has been able to usher significant growth in its capacity and capability in basic, applied, and developmental research in science and technology. The investments in S&T have also grown many-fold, from Rs.760.5 crore in 1980 to about Rs.16,361 crore in 2005-06. The total annual expenditure on science and technology is now close to 0.8% of the Gross National Product (GNP). If the government's vision at present is to be believed, the size of the education sector will grow almost 10-fold during the current XI Five-Year Plan. Given these projections in the higher education sector in the country, S&T infrastructure in India is certain to witness significant expansion too in the near future.

Several bibliometric studies have so far attempted to look at indicators as required for understanding the status of science and technology in India1-7. They had focused on developing indicators on institutional productivity, national productivity, scattering of research across Indian & foreign journals, quality of research, and nature of collaboration, etc. Another important study8 by the authors to this paper, conducted recently under the sponsorship of the Office of the Principle Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, had reported several important indicators to understand the progress in Indian science and technology, covering the period 1985-1986, 1995-2006 and 2001-2002. The present study in particular analyses the role and contribution of Indian science in global context. It also compares the similarity of Indian research profile with other top productive countries and particularly with China, South Korea and Brazil.

Objectives

The main objective of this study is to produce current Indian S&T indicators by measuring progress of research in India using publications output data. In this regard the study aims at: (i) analyzing India’s current publications rate and its global publications share in comparison with select leading countries, (ii) comparing and understanding similarities between India’s national research profile and of select leading productive countries; (iii) determining most productive and weak subject areas of research in Indian science and technology; (iv) the share of Indian science in global output in overall as well as across various subjects; and (v) comparing Indian science with China, South Korea and Brazil S&T.

Methodology and Data Source

This study uses Scopus database for drawing publications data on India and select countries leading in science and technology. Scopus is an international multidisciplinary database indexing over 15,000 international peer reviewed journals in science and technology, besides more than 500 international conference/seminar proceedings. So far Scopus is the single largest international multidisciplinary database in the world. Given its wider coverage of journals and conference/seminar proceedings from developed and developing countries (including from India and China) compared to another international multidisciplinary database such as Web of Science database, the use of Scopus is expected to generate a better picture of Indian S&T indicators and hence its selection for this study.

The study uses 11 years publications data from 1997 to 2007 on India and other top 19 productive countries for developing S&T indicators. The study has purposely used larger data set covering 11 publication years in order to ensure that the study reflects a more accurate and reliable results as possible. In addition, it used citations data for measuring quality and visibility of Indian research output. Three years citations window has been used for computing average citations per paper for all S&T papers published by India from 1997 to 2004. But for papers published in 2005 we had to two years citations window and one-year citations window for papers published in 2006. The study has used a number of absolute publications, citation and collaborative measures for developing S&T indicators as needed for depicting India’s status in science and technology from 1997 to 2007.

Analysis

India’s Publication Share and Rank in World

India ranks 12th among the top 20 productive countries in science and technology, with its global publications share of 2.11% as computed from cumulative world publications data for 1997-2007 (Table 1). The other countries in the top 20 list that contributed world share similar to that of India are Russia, Spain, and Australia (in the range 2.0% to 2.50%). In overall, the global publication shares of the top 20 productive countries in S&T from 1997-2007 ranged from 1.03% to 23.44%. The United States tops the list with its global publication share of 23.44%, and followed far behind are United Kingdom, Japan, China, Germany, and France (their global publication share ranging 4.5% to 7.4%). The countries that rank between 13th and 20th positions are Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil, Poland and Belgium with their global publication share ranging 1% to 1.9% (Table 1).

Declining Global Publication Share of Developed Countries: The publications activity of most developed countries is gradually declining over time in global context. This is evident from declining trend in their global publications share figures for 1997, 2002 and 2007. In particular, the developed countries that have shown decline in their global publication share are many, including United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, Netherlands and Sweden. The countries from the developed world that have however, shown rise in their global publication share over time are relatively few, including Italy, Australia, Spain, Canada and Poland (Table 1).

Table 1. Productivity and World Publication Share of Top 20 Productive Countries in Science & Technology

S.No

Country

National Publication Output

Percentage Share Of National Publication Output in their total output

World Publication Rank

1997

2002

2007

97-07

1997

2002

2007

97-07

97

02

07

97-07

1

USA

314,029

314,530

357,635

3,584,564

27.72

23.79

20.65

23.44

1

1

1

1

2

UK

124,776

93,234

124,776

1,130,827

11.01

7.05

7.20

7.40

2

2

3

2

3

Japan

87,750

91,655

98,211

1,057,233

7.74

6.93

5.67

6.91

3

3

4

3

4

Germany

75,296

80,514

97,200

958,647

6.65

6.09

5.61

6.27

4

4

5

5

5

China

31,236

62,256

194,241

993,717

2.76

4.71

11.21

6.50

8

5

2

4

6

France

56,310

57,162

71,984

691,720

4.97

4.32

4.16

4.52

5

6

6

6

7

Canada

40,236

41,799

62,859

525,931

3.55

3.16

3.63

3.44

6

8

7

7

8

Italy

38,128

41,875

59,520

510,298

3.37

3.17

3.44

3.34

7

7

8

8

9

Spain

25,049

30,409

46,808

372,277

2.21

2.30

2.70

2.43

10

10

9

9

10

Russia

31,040

32,431

30,660

355,564

2.74

2.45

1.77

2.33

9

9

14

10

11

Australia

23,059

27,410

42,558

337,376

2.04

2.07

2.46

2.21

11

11

11

11

12

India

21,058

25,990

44,135

322,956

1.86

1.97

2.55

2.11

13

12

10

12

13

Netherlands

22,094

23,616

33,299

291134

1.95

1.79

1.92

1.90

12

13

13

13

14

South Korea

11,933

19,651

38,067

257,034

1.05

1.49

2.20

1.68

16

14

12

14

15

Sweden

17,360

17,173

22,315

212529

1.53

1.30

1.29

1.39

15

15

18

15

16

Switzerland

15,507

16,034

23,704

207,737

1.37

1.21

1.37

1.36

16

16

17

16

17

Taiwan

11,575

14,539

27,410

192,106

1.02

1.10

1.58

1.26

17

19

16

18

18

Brazil

10,289

15,804

28,819

194,024

0.91

1.20

1.66

1.27

20

17

15

17

19

Poland

11,328

15,037

19,686

177,288

1.00

1.14

1.14

1.16

19

18

19

19

20

Belgium

11,343

12,659

18,486

157,930

1.00

0.96

1.07

1.03

18

20

20

20

Rising Global Publication Share of Developing Countries: All developing countries in top 20 productive countries list have shown rising trend in their global publications share over time. China, in particular, has shown strikingly significant rise in its publications share, rising from 2.76% to 4.71%, and to 11.21% in the years 1997, 2002, and 2007 respectively. Correspondingly China improved its world ranking from 8th position in 1997 to 5th in 2002 and to 2nd in 2007. South Korea has also improved its world share (from 1.05% to 1.49% and to 2.20%), Taiwan (from 1.02% to 1.10% and to 1.58%), and Brazil (from 0.91% to 1.20% and to 1.66%) during corresponding years. The world ranking of these three developing countries also improved - South Korea (from 16th to 14th and to 12th), Taiwan (from 17th to 19th and to 16th), and Brazil (from 20th to 17th and to 15th) during corresponding years.

India also witnessed rise in its world publications share. The shift in its global share was from 1.86% to 1.97% and to 2.55% in 1997, 2002, and 2007, respectively. Correspondingly, it improved its world ranking from 13th position in 1997 to 12th in 2002 and to 10th in 2007 (Table 1).

India’s Publication Growth Rate in World Context

The developed and developing countries differ significantly in their annual average publication growth rate as seen from their annual publications output data for 1997 to 2007 in S&T. It was 2.23% to 6.54% for developed countries and 7.76% to 20.96% for developing world countries. Whereas the developed countries maintained slow pace of growth in their publications output, the developing countries on the other hand have shown significantly faster growth rate (Table 2-3).

India achieved annual average growth rate in publications output at 7.76% as seen from its publications output data for 1997-2007. China showed growth rate of 20.96% per annum, the highest amongst top 20 countries, followed by South Korea (12.49%), Brazil (10.97%), Taiwan (9.21%), and India (7.76%). Indian ranks last among the developing countries in terms of pace of growth in its publications output (Table 3).

All countries from the developing world (among top 20 productive countries) have shown growth rate of their annual publications output higher than the world average (4.41%). The countries from the developed world (among top 20 productive countries) that have shown growth rate higher than the world average (4.41%) during 1997-2007 include Spain (6.54%), Australia (6.39%), Poland (5.93%), Belgium (5.15%), Canada (4.73%), Italy (4.64%) and Switzerland (4.56%) (Table 3).

Growth rate of publications output by developing world countries has also changed over time. Based on publications output data for 1997-2002 and 2003-2007, it was found that Chine improved its growth rate from 15.37% to 26.54%, India from 4.31% to 11.21%, Taiwan from 4.70% to 13.71%, South Korea from 10.56% to 14.42% and Brazil from 9.05% to 12.90%. The productive developed world countries have also shown similar trend (Table 3).

Table 2: Annual Publications Output in Science and Technology of Select Countries

Publication Year

Annual Publications Output, 1997-2007

World

USA

UK

Japan

Germany

China

France

1997

1133009

314029

88926

87750

75296

31236

56310

1998

1137270

312392

90710

88498

77970

36463

57326

1999

1138939

309609

90751

91229

79112

37632

58497

2000

1205466

313243

95364

92608

80655

45852

58526

2001

1299195

309114

90499

90080

80412

60936

56881

2002

1322231

314530

93234

91655

80514

62256

57162

2003

1376155

334863

103655

98597

90631

74896

63654

2004

1524777

318306

110274

102534

94479

111274

67060

2005

1685487

343011

118390

108768

101171

157893

71800

2006

1734750

357832

124248

107303

101207

181038

72520

2007

1732168

357635

124776

98211

97200

194241

71984

 

Publication Year

Annual Publications Output, 1997-2007

Canada

Italy

Russia

Spain

Australia

Netherlands

1997

40236

38128

31040

25049

23059

22094

1998

39321

37525

32275

25769

23915

22506

1999

38978

38540

30983

27257

24317

22086

2000

39910

39721

31796

27540

25344

22859

2001

39072

40629

32565

28253

26425

22436

2002

41799

41875

32431

30409

27410

23616

2003

48641

48304

32987

35055

30999

27035

2004

53427

51927

34090

37944

34631

29244

2005

59653

55407

35486

42206

37689

32398

2006

62035

58722

31261

45987

41129

33561

2007

62859

59520

30660

46808

42558

33299


Publication Year

Annual Publications Output, 1997-2007

South Korea

Sweden

Taiwan

Brazil

Poland

Belgium

India

1997

11933

17360

11575

10289

11328

11343

21058

1998

12647

17818

11907

11413

11588

12141

21698

1999

14665

17725

12216

12391

12324

12161

22845

2000

16532

17643

12781

13388

13062

12104

23284

2001

18557

17439

14103

13698

13784

12094

24280

2002

19651

17173

14539

15804

15037

12659

25990

2003

24777

19747

16720

18099

17746

15022

29972

2004

29126

20829

20855

20252

19416

16027

32311

2005

33767

22141

23902

22499

21059

17726

36403

2006

37312

22339

26098

27372

22258

18167

40980

2007

38067

22315

27410

28819

19686

18486

44135

Table 3: Annual Average Publications Growth Rate of Select Developed and Developing Countries

Country

Average Annual Publication Growth Rate

Country

Average Publication Growth Rate

97-07

97-2002

2003-07

97-07

97-02

2003-07

World

4.41

3.18

5.64

Sweden

2.65

-0.21

5.51

United States

1.37

0.04

2.71

China

20.96

15.37

26.54

UK

3.54

1.01

6.06

India

7.76

4.31

11.21

Japan

1.23

0.89

1.57

South Korea

12.49

10.56

14.42

Germany

2.68

1.36

3.99

Belgium

5.15

2.26

8.04

France

2.56

0.32

4.81

Brazil

10.97

9.05

12.9

Italy

4.64

1.91

7.38

Taiwan

9.21

4.70

13.71

Netherlands

4.32

1.38

7.25

Russia

-0.01

0.92

-0.94

Spain

6.54

3.98

9.10

Poland

5.93

5.85

6.01

Switzerland

4.56

0.37

4.2

Canada

4.73

0.82

8.64

Australia

6.39

3.52

9.25

Subject Priorities of Top 20 Productive Countries as reflected in their Cumulative Publication Output during 1997-2007

Subject priorities of top 20 productive countries in research have been determined by computing their national publications share in broad disciplines including physical, engineering, life, and health sciences as defined by Scopus based on their publications output for 1997-2007. The strength of national publication share of a country in a discipline reflects its research priority in the subject comparison to other disciplines. The higher the productivity the higher priority of the country in the discipline (Table 4-5).

For example, India’s national publications share has been the highest (41.07%) in physical sciences, followed by life sciences (29.68%), engineering sciences (29.59%), and health sciences (22.06%). Given this data, one can conclude India’s order of priority in research by discipline. Its priority is the highest to physical sciences, followed by life sciences, engineering sciences, and health sciences. In the world context, India’s national publications share in physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering sciences each has been above the global average in each discipline. But in health sciences its share has been below the global average (Table 4-5).

For clarification it may be stated that according to Scopus classification physical sciences discipline includes subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, earth & planetary sciences and environmental sciences. Similarly, life sciences include subjects such as agricultural & biological sciences, biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, immunology & microbiology and neurology. Engineering sciences includes subjects such as engineering, materials science, computer science, chemical engineering and energy. Health sciences include subjects such as medicine, public health, nursing, dentistry and veterinary science.

Table 4: Subject Priorities of Top 20 Productive Countries as reflected in their Cumulative Publications Output during 1997-2007

Country

Total

Papers

Percentage Share of Papers under the

following Broad Fields

Physical

Sciences

Engineering

Sciences

Life

Sciences

Health

Sciences

World

15289447

27.90

29.10

23.87

29.58

USA

3584564

26.42

20.87

31.09

33.94

UK

1130827

26.12

19.34

31.94

36.67

Japan

1057233

33.72

31.94

28.37

26.77

Germany

958647

37.48

23.84

26.80

30.15

China

993717

38.97

51.60

15.12

11.25

France

691,720

37.56

24.47

28.21

29.28

Canada

525,931

29.02

23.97

29.86

29.69

Italy

510,298

34.37

21.91

28.74

34.70

Russia

355,564

63.57

35.11

17.30

3.65

Spain

372,277

36.21

21.36

31.14

32.10

Australia

337,376

27.97

18.90

31.67

34.17

India

322,947

41.07

29.59

29.68

22.06

Netherlands

291,134

28.06

19.78

30.85

37.62

South Korea

257,034

38.75

50.18

23.33

14.81

Sweden

212,529

29.50

21.48

33.12

34.57

Switzerland

207,737

35.10

19.92

29.41

32.75

Taiwan

192,106

33.52

46.99

18.29

22.47

Brazil

194,024

33.06

22.48

33.80

31.71

Poland

177,288

47.75

27.55

25.86

23.34

Belgium

157,930

31.38

22.09

30.57

35.17

Table 5: Broad Discipline wise Output of Top 20 Productive Countries as reflected in their Cumulative Publications Output during 1997-2007

Country

Total

Papers

Count of Papers under the following Broad Fields

Physical

Sciences

Engineering

Sciences

Life

Sciences

Health

Sciences

World

15289447

4265794

4449992

3650321

4523136

USA

3584564

947174

748162

1114412

1216646

UK

1130827

295387

218693

361165

414707

Japan

1057233

356479

337640

299930

282999

Germany

958647

359270

228576

256896

289079

China

993717

387281

512773

150276

111822

France

691,720

259797

169293

195147

202527

Canada

525,931

152647

126049

157029

156137

Italy

510,298

175383

111813

146644

177075

Russia

355,564

226022

124855

61517

12992

Spain

372,277

134814

79518

115910

119485

Australia

337,376

94369

63767

106854

115274

India

322,947

132623

95555

95846

71254

Netherlands

291,134

81681

57578

89803

109515

South Korea

257,034

99594

128990

59970

38057

Sweden

212,529

62704

45654

70380

73474

Switzerland

207,737

72918

41386

61104

68029

Taiwan

192,106

64397

90280

35145

43172

Brazil

194,024

64153

43612

65572

61523

Poland

177,288

84649

48847

45853

41387

Belgium

157,930

49566

34893

48279

55548

Similarities in the research profile of India with other 19 productive countries were determined based on similarities in their global publication share by subject. In this regard, based on strength of their national publications share in the subject as compared to the world average, 20 countries were first categorized into four major groups. The following criteria were used to categorize them as strong, moderately strong, moderately week and weak countries in different broad disciplines.

(i) Strong – Countries having national publication share in the broad subject above the world average by 5% or more;

(ii) Moderately Strong – Countries having national publication share in the broad subject above the world average by 0.1% to 4.99%;

(iii) Moderately Weak – Countries having national publication share in the broad subject below the world average by 0.1% to 4.99%;

(iv) Weak – Countries having national publication share in the broad subject below the world average by 5% or more.

Eleven countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Brazil share strong to moderately strong similarities in life sciences and health sciences, but they are weak in engineering sciences. Table 6 shows similarities in their research profiles by subject (Table 6).

Table 6: Countries Sharing Strong to Moderately Strong Research Profile in Life Sciences and Health Sciences

Countries

Strong

Moderately Strong

Moderately Weak

Weak

United States

Life Sciences

Health Sciences

Physical Science

Engineering Sciences

Australia, Canada,

Sweden & Belgium

Life Sciences

Health Sciences,

Physical Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Netherlands

Life Sciences,

Health Sciences

Physical Sciences

Engineering Sciences

United Kingdom

Life Sciences,

Health Sciences

Physical Science

Engineering Sciences

Brazil, Switzerland

Life Sciences,

Physical Sciences

Health Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Italy, Spain

Health Sciences,

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Four countries such as Japan, Germany, France and Poland share strong to moderately strong similarities in life sciences and physical sciences, but they are weak in engineering sciences. Table 7 shows similarities in their research profiles by subject (Table 7).

Table 7: Countries Sharing Strong to Moderately Strong Research Profile in Physical Sciences and Life Sciences

Countries

Strong

Moderately Strong

Moderate Weak

Weak

Germany

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences,

Health Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Japan

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences,

Engineering Sciences

Health Sciences

France

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Health Sciences,

Engineering Sciences

Poland

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Health Sciences

Five countries such as Russia, China, India, South Korea and Taiwan share strong to moderately strong similarities in physical sciences and engineering sciences, but they are weak in health sciences. Table 8 shows similarities in their research profiles by subject (Table 8).

Table 8: Countries Sharing Strong to Moderately Strong Research Profile in Physical Sciences and Engineering Sciences

Countries

Strong

Moderately Strong

Moderate Weak

Weak

China, Taiwan, Russia

Engineering. Sciences,

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Health Sciences

South Korea

Engineering. Sciences,

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Health Sciences

India

Physical Sciences,

Life Sciences

Engineering Sciences

Health Sciences

Subject Profile of India in Science and Technology

As per publications output data for 1997-2007, India’s research profile by broad disciplines emerges as follows. Physical science subjects together contributed the highest publication share (41.07%), followed by life sciences (29.68%), engineering sciences (29.59%), and health sciences (22.06%) in cumulative national publication output of India during 1997-07 (Table 9).

India’s subject profile is quite different from that of China, South Korea, and Brazil. For example, compared to India, China and South Korea each contributed the highest publication share (51.60% and 50.18 %) in engineering, followed by 38.97 % and 38.75 % in physical sciences, 15.12% and 23.33% in life sciences , and 11.25% and 14.81% in health sciences during similar period. In contrast, Brazil emphasis equally (33.80%, 33.06% and 31.71% ) in life sciences, physical sciences and health sciences and 22.48% in engineering sciences (Table 9).

Table 9: National Cumulative Publication Share of Select Developing Countries by Broad Disciplines, 1997-2007

Country

Health Sciences

Life Sciences

Physical Sciences

Engineering

Sciences

India (%)

22.06

29.68

41.07

29.59

China (%)

11.25

15.12

38.97

51.60

South Korea (%)

14.81

23.33

38.75

50.18

Brazil (%)

31.71

33.80

33.06

22.48

High Productivity Subject Areas of Research in India

Medicine, chemistry, physics, agricultural & biological sciences, engineering, biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology and materials science are considered the high priority areas of India in S&T, each contributing publication share between 12.0% and 19.15% in the cumulative national publication output of the country during 1997-2007. Among these subjects, medicine registered the largest increase by 3.68% (from 16.57% to 20.25%), followed by 2.63% (from 12.77% to 14.31%) in biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, 1.03% (from 12.75% to 13.78%) in engineering and 0.93% (from 11.51% to 12.44%) in materials science from 1997-99 to 2005-07. In contrast, its national publication share declined by 2.37% (from 14.55% to 12.18%) in agricultural & biological sciences and 0.87% (from 15.10% to 14.23%) in physics during the same period (Table 10).

Table 10: Most Productive Subject Areas – National Publication Statistics

Subject

Research Output

Publication Share (%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Difference

Medicine

61849

10868

24613

19.15

16.57

20.25

3.68

Chemistry

51558

10343

19151

15.96

15.77

15.76

-0.01

Physics

45931

9904

17287

14.22

15.10

14.23

-0.87

Agricultural & Biological Sciences

43044

9542

14796

13.33

14.55

12.18

-2.37

Engineering

42376

8364

16741

13.12

12.75

13.78

1.03

Biochemistry

41249

7663

17395

12.77

11.68

14.31

2.63

Materials Science

38748

7551

15111

12.00

11.51

12.44

0.93

Table 11: Select Developing Countries Share in National Output in Most Productive Subject Categories 

Subjects

Percentage Share of National Output, 1997-2007

India

China

Brazil

South Korea

Medicine

19.15

11.05

27.26

13.83

Chemistry

15.96

10.98

9.07

10.95

Physics

14.22

15.71

14.98

19.06

Agricultural & Biological Sciences

13.33

4.69

15.31

4.57

Engineering

13.12

29.86

10.02

25.41

Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology

12.77

8.74

13.92

15.91

Materials Sciences

12.00

14.63

7.19

16.58

Comparative Publications Share of Developing Countries: In comparison to India, China contributed larger share in engineering, physics and materials science (29.86%, 15.71% and 14.63%) and so also South Korea (25.41%, 19.06% and 16.58%). India’s national publications share in these subjects were (13.12%, 14.22% and 12.0%) and Brazil (10.02%, 14.98% and 7.19%) in its cumulative national publication output during 1997-07 (Table 11). In contrast, comparatively larger publication share was devoted to medicine, chemistry and agricultural & biological sciences by Brazil (27.26%, 9.07% and 15.31%) and India (19.15%, 15.96% and 13.33%) compared to China (11.05%, 10.98% and 4.69%) and South Korea (13.83%, 10.95% and 4.57%) in cumulative national publication output during 1997-07. Larger national publication share in biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology was devoted by South Korea (15.91%) and Brazil (13.92%) as against India (12.77%) and China (8.74%) during 1997-07 (Table 11).

Share of International Collaborative Publications by Subject: The share of international collaborative publications in cumulative national subject publication output in India in most productive subject areas during 1997-07 was highest in physics (27.84%), followed by biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology (19.51%), materials science (17.29%), engineering (14.38%), chemistry (13.75%), agricultural & biological sciences (11.87%) and medicine (11.14%). India witnessed increase in its share of international collaborative publications by 5.30% (from 13.59% to 18.89%) in its publications output in materials science from 1997-99 to 2005-07, followed by 4.31% (from 8.97% to 13.28%) in medicine, 3.44% (from 10.46% to 13.90%) in agricultural & biological sciences, 2.28% (from 13.09% to 15.23%) in biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, 2.14% (from 13.09% to 15.23%) in chemistry, 1.40% (from 27.28% to 28.68%) in physics and 1.12% (from 16.21% to 17.33%) in engineering (Table 12).

Table 12: Most Productive Subject Areas- International Collaboration Share

Subject

International Collaborative Research Output

International Collaborative Research Output

(%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Difference

1997-99 to 2005-07

Medicine

6890

975

3268

11.14

8.97

13.28

4.31

Chemistry

7091

1354

2917

13.75

13.09

15.23

2.14

Physics

12789

2702

4958

27.84

27.28

28.68

1.40

Agricultural & Biological Sciences

5108

998

2057

11.87

10.46

13.90

3.44

Engineering

6092

1356

2901

14.38

16.21

17.33

1.12

Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology

8049

1546

3906

19.51

20.17

22.45

2.28

Materials Sciences

6699

1026

2854

17.29

13.59

18.89

5.30

Comparative Global Publications Share by Subject: The global publication share of India, China, Brazil, and South Korea in most productive subject areas during 1997-2007 was differing. It was 4.57% in chemistry in India, compared to 9.67% by China, 1.56% by Brazil and 2.49% by South Korea. In agricultural & biological sciences, it was 4.05% by India compared to 4.38% by China, 2.80% by Brazil and 1.10% by South Korea. In materials science, it was 3.41% by India compared to 12.80% by China, 1.23% by Brazil and 3.75% by South Korea. In physics, it was 2.73% by India compared to 9.28% by China, 1.73% by Brazil and 2.91% by South Korea. In biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, it was 2.11% by India compared to 4.43% by China, 1.38% by Brazil and 2.09% by South Korea. In engineering, it was 1.69% by India compared to 11.86% by China, 0.78% by Brazil and 2.61% by South Korea. In medicine, it was 1.48% by India compared to 2.62% by China, 1.26% by Brazil and 0.85% by South Korea (Table 13).

India’s global publication share has increased by 1.89% (from 3.73% to 5.62%) in chemistry, followed by 1.24% (from 1.62% to 2.86%) in biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, 1.17% (from 3.10% to 4.27%) in materials science, 0.78% (from 3.60% to 4.38%) in agricultural & biological sciences, 0.71% (from 2.61% to 3.32%) in physics, 0.75% (from 1.01% to 1.76% ) in medicine and 0.32% (from 1.71% to 2.03%) in engineering from the year 1997 to the year 2007 (Table 13).

Table 13: Most Productive Subject Areas- Global Publication Share of India, China and Brazil

Subject

India

China

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Medicine

1.01

1.76

1.48

0.72

4.39

2.62

Chemistry

3.73

5.62

4.57

5.22

14.55

9.67

Physics

2.61

3.32

2.73

5.17

16.16

9.28

Agricultural & Biological Sciences

3.60

4.38

4.05

1.44

8.18

4.38

Engineering

1.71

2.03

1.69

5.18

22.57

11.86

Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology

1.62

2.86

2.11

1.57

9.33

4.43

Materials Sciences

3.10

4.27

3.41

7.09

21.42

12.80


Subjects

Brazil

South Korea

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Medicine

0.81

1.71

1.26

0.42

1.28

0.85

Chemistry

1.16

1.92

1.56

1.75

3.17

2.49

Physics

1.54

1.79

1.73

1.76

3.64

2.91

Agricultural & Biological Sciences

1.95

3.76

2.80

0.57

1.71

1.10

Engineering

0.70

0.78

0.78

1.99

2.88

2.61

Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology

0.85

1.76

1.38

1.15

2.76

2.09

Materials Sciences

0.85

1.27

1.23

2.55

5.51

3.75

Medium Productivity Subject Areas of Research in India

Earth & planetary sciences, environmental sciences, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, chemical engineering, mathematics, immunology & microbiology, veterinary sciences and computer science are the medium productive subjective areas of Indian research, each contributing between 2.65% to 6.36% share in the cumulative publication output by India during 1997-2007. The national publication share of India witnessed increase in some of these subjects from 1997-99 to 2005-07: 1.34% (from 3.09% to 4.43%) in computer science, 0.72% (from 3.42% to 4.14%) in immunology & microbiology, 0.53% (from 6.11% to 6.64%) in pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, 0.50% (from 5.93% to 6.43%) in environmental science and 0.23% (from 5.87% to 6.10%) in chemical engineering. The decline in the national publications share was witnessed by 1.33% (from 5.71% to 4.38%) in earth & planetary sciences, 1.0% in veterinary science and 0.15% (from 4.37% to 4.22%) in mathematics from 1997-99 to 2005-07 (Table 14).

Share of International Collaborative Publications by Subject: The share of international collaborative publications in India’s cumulative publication output in medium productive subjective areas during 1997-07 was highest in mathematics (27.66%), followed by computer science (23.7%), earth & planetary science (22.24%), immunology & microbiology (19.36%), chemical engineering (13.73%), environmental sciences (10.8%), pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics (9.10%) and veterinary science (4.0%). India has witnessed significant rise in international collaborative research output over time (1997-99 to 2005-07) by 6.05% (from 18.97% to 25.02%) in earth & planetary sciences, 3.29% (from 9.84% to 13.14%) in environmental sciences, 2.98% (from 11.90% to 14.88%) in chemical engineering, 2.68% (from 25.86% to 28.18%) in pharmaceutics, toxicology & pharmaceutics, 2.51% (from 25.86% to 28.18%) in mathematics, as against decrease by 10.1% (from 31.07% to 20.96%) in computer science and 0.26% (from 20.04% to 19.77%) in immunology & microbiology (Table 16).

Comparative Global Publications Share by Subject: India’s global publication share in medium productive subject areas of research during 1997-07 was: (i) 5.36% in India, compared to 0.86% in China, 3.17% in Brazil, and 0.81% in South Korea in veterinary science; (ii) 3.39% in India, compared to 4.50% in China, 1.47% in Brazil, and 1.88% in South Korea in pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics; (iii) 3.32% in India, compared to 5.12% in China, 1.27% in Brazil, and 1.08% in South Korea in environmental sciences; (iv) 2.77% in India, compared to 9.55% in China, 1.13% in Brazil, and 2.69% in South Korea in chemical engineering; (v) 2.31% in India, compared to 9.57% in China, 1.92% in Brazil, and 2.93% in South Korea in mathematics; (vi) 2.27% in India, compared to 9.11% in China, 1.18% in Brazil and 0.85% in South Korea in earth & planetary sciences; (vii) 2.22% in India, compared to 2.25% in China, 2.25% in Brazil and 2.08% in South Korea in immunology & microbiology; and (viii) 1.49% in India, compared to 10.31% in China and 0.99% in Brazil and 3.45% in South Korea in computer science (Table 17).

India’s global publication share has increased by 2.47% (from 2.62% to 5.09%) in pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, 1.74% (from 1.55% to 3.29%) in immunology & microbiology, 1.25% (from 2.67% to 3.92%) in environmental science, 0.75% (from 3.23% to 3.98%) in chemical engineering, and 0.24% (from 1.66% to 1.90%) in computer science, and against decreased by 0.13% (from 5.41% to 5.28%) in veterinary science from the year 1997 to 2007 (Table 17).

Comparative Publications Share of Developing Countries: India accounts for highest publication share (6.37%, 6.25% and 2.65%) among select four developing countries in environmental sciences, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics and veterinary sciences. In contrast, earth & planetary sciences and immunology & microbiology account for second highest, chemical engineering the third highest, and other subjects namely mathematics and computer science the lowest publication share among the four developing countries during 1997-07. China accounts for highest national publication share(6.30%) only in earth & planetary sciences, second highest (6.55% and 7.87%) in computer science and chemical engineering, third highest (3.19% and 5.70%) in environmental sciences and mathematics, and lowest (2.69%, 1.26% and 0.14%) in pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, immunology& microbiology, and veterinary sciences during 1997-07 among the select four Asian countries..

In comparison, Brazil devoted highest national publication share to immunology & microbiology (6.48%), second highest (4.05%, 4.50%, 5.86% and 2.61%) to environmental sciences, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, mathematics and veterinary sciences, third highest (4.17% and 3.86%) to earth & planetary sciences and computer science, and lowest to(3.98%) to chemical engineering during 1997-07 among the select four developing countries. South Korea accounts for highest national publication share (7.14%, 6.75% and 10.17%) in chemical engineering, mathematics and computer science, second highest (4.51%) to immunology & microbiology, third highest (4.35% and 0.50%) in pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, and veterinary sciences, and lowest (2.28% and 2.61%) in earth & planetary sciences and environmental sciences during 1997-07 among select four Asian countries (Table 15).

Table 14: Medium Productivity Subject Areas – National Publication Statistics

Subject

Research Output

Publication Share (%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Earth & Planetary Science

15588

3748

5323

4.83

5.71

4.38

Environmental Science

20556

3891

7811

6.36

5.93

6.43

Pharmacology

20177

4009

8067

6.25

6.11

6.64

Chemical Engineering

18869

3850

7415

5.84

5.87

6.10

Mathematics

13683

2869

5132

4.24

4.37

4.22

Immunology & Microbiology

12048

2241

5027

3.73

3.42

4.14

Computer Science

11270

2028

5381

3.49

3.09

4.43

Veterinary Science

8558

2065

2615

2.65

3.15

2.15

Table 15: Select Developing Countries Publication Share in National Output in Medium Productive Subject Categories

Subjects

Percentage Share of National Publication

Output, 1997-2007

India

China

Brazil

South Korea

Earth & Planetary Science

4.83

6.30

4.17

2.28

Environmental Science

6.37

3.19

4.05

2.61

Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmaceutics

6.25

2.69

4.50

4.35

Chemical Engineering

5.84

6.55

3.98

7.14

Mathematics

4.24

5.70

5.86

6.75

Immunology & Microbiology

3.73

1.26

6.48

4.51

Computer Science

3.49

7.87

3.86

10.17

Veterinary Science

2.65

0.14

2.61

0.50

Table 16: Medium Productive Subject Areas- International Collaboration statistics

Subject

International Collaborative Research Output

International Collaborative

Research Output (%)

97-07

97-99

2005-07

97-07

97-99

2005-07

Difference

97-99 to 05-07

Earth & Planetary Science

3466

711

1332

22.24

18.97

25.02

6.05

Environmental Science

2220

383

1026

10.80

9.84

13.14

3.29

Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmaceutics

1836

304

828

9.10

7.58

10.26

2.68

Chemical Engineering

2590

458

1103

13.73

11.90

14.88

2.98

Mathematics

3785

742

1446

27.66

25.86

28.18

2.31

Immunology & Microbiology

2332

449

994

19.36

20.04

19.77

-0.26

Computer Science

2671

630

1128

23.70

31.07

20.96

-10.10

Veterinary Science

342

58

139

4.00

2.81

5.32

2.51

Table 17: Medium Productivity Subject Areas- Global Publication Share of India, China and Brazil

Subject

Global Publication Share (%)

India

China

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Earth & Planetary Science

2.42

2.47

2.27

3.04

16.21

9.11

Environmental Science

2.67

3.92

3.32

1.94

9.69

5.12

Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmaceutics

2.62

5.09

3.39

2.09

8.01

4.50

Chemical Engineering

3.23

3.98

2.77

5.33

19.20

9.55

Mathematics

2.67

2.18

2.31

4.36

16.29

9.57

Immunology & Microbiology

1.55

3.29

2.22

0.77

5.31

2.25

Computer Science

1.66

1.90

1.49

2.56

18.29

10.31

Veterinary Science

5.41

5.28

5.36

0.37

2.18

0.86


Subject

Global Publication Share (%)

Brazil

South Korea

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Earth & Planetary Science

1.05

1.31

1.18

0.49

1.18

0.85

Environmental Science

0.87

1.73

1.27

0.59

1.41

1.08

Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmaceutics

1.00

2.18

1.47

1.24

2.39

1.88

Chemical Engineering

1.02

1.47

1.13

1.83

3.96

2.69

Mathematics

1.61

1.67

1.92

1.62

3.47

2.93

Immunology & Microbiology

1.44

3.01

2.25

1.19

2.95

2.08

Computer Science

0.76

1.03

0.99

2.54

3.57

3.45

Veterinary Science

2.61

4.25

3.17

0.31

1.93

0.81

Low Productivity Subject Areas of Research in India

Energy and neurology are the two low productive subject areas contributing publications share between 1.33% and 1.84% in cumulative publication output by India during 1997-07. The national publication share in India witnessed an increase by 0.15% (from 1.20% to 1.35%) in neurology and decrease by 0.22% (from 2.09% to 1.87%) in energy from 1997-99 to 2005-07 (Table 18).

Comparative Publications Share of Developing Countries: Neurology has contributed large share in Brazil (3.73%) and South Korea (1.87%) compared to India (1.33%) and China (0.72%) during 1997-07. In contrast, energy contributed larger share in South Korea (1.88%) and China (3.29%), compared to India (1.84%) and Brazil (1.39%) during 1997-07 (Table 19).

Share of International Collaborative Publications by Subject: The share of international collaborative publications in India’s cumulative national publications output in these low productive subject areas during 1997-07 was 16.34% in neurology and 16.27% in energy. India has witnessed a significant rise in international collaborative publications of 6.29% (from 12.98% to 19.27%) in neurology as against decrease of 1.08% (from 15.88% to 14.79%) in energy from 1997-99 to 2005-07 (Table 20).

Comparative Global Publications Share by Subject: India’s global publication share in these two subject areas are : (i) 0.91% in India compared to 13.91% in China, 13.99% in Brazil and 9.30% in South Korea in neurology and (ii) 2.02% in India, compared to 11.1% in China, 0.92% in Brazil and 1.64% in South Korea in energy. India’s global publication share has increased by 0.92% (from 0.61% to 1.53%) in neurology and decreased by 0.34% (from 2.92% to 2.58%) in energy from the year 1997 to 2007 (Table 21).

Table 18: Low Productivity Subject Areas – National Publication Statistics

Subject

Research Output

Publication Share (%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Neurology

4285

786

1635

1.33

1.20

1.35

Energy

5938

1373

2278

1.84

2.09

1.87

Table 19: Select Developing Countries Share in National Output in Low Productive Subject Categories

Subjects

Percentage Share of National Output, 1997-2007

India

China

Brazil

South Korea

Neurology

1.33

0.72

3.73

1.87

Energy

1.84

3.29

1.39

1.88

Table 20: Low Productive Subject Areas- International Collaboration Statistics

Subject

International Collaborative Research Output

International Collaborative Research Output

(%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Difference

97-99 to 05-07

Neurology

700

102

315

16.34

12.98

19.27

6.29

Energy

966

218

337

16.27

15.88

14.79

-1.08

Table 21: Medium Productivity Subject Areas- Global Publication Share of India, China and Brazil

Subject

Global Publication Share (%)

India

China

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Neurology

0.61

1.53

0.91

0.67

3.51

13.91

Energy

2.92

2.58

2.02

6.26

20.34

11.10


Subject

Brazil

South Korea

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Neurology

0.86

2.63

13.99

0.36

1.96

9.30

Energy

0.75

1.02

0.92

1.34

2.09

1.64

Least Productive Subject Areas in India

Public health nursing and dentistry are the least productive Indian subject area contributing each less than 1% publication share in cumulative publication output during 1997-07. India’s publication share has increased by 0.35% (from 0.21% to 0.56%) in dentistry, 0.23% (from 0.40% to 0.63) in public health and by 0.20%(from 0.09% to 0.29%) in nursing from 1997-99 to 2005-07 (Table 22).

Comparative Publications Share of Developing Countries: Nursing and public health contributed comparative largest share in South Korea (1.05% and 2.02%) and India (0.30% and 73%) as against china (0.55% and 0.65%) and Brazil (0.44% and 0.56%) during 1997-07. In contrast, dentistry find largest share in Brazil (5.19%) and India (1.36%) compared to South Korea (1.06%) and China (0.92%) during 1997-07 (Table 23).

Share of International Collaborative Publications by Subject: The share of international collaborative publications in India’s cumulative national publication output in three least productive subject areas during 1997-07 was highest in nursing (25.04%), followed by public health (16.67%) and dentistry (6.54%). The India’s international collaborative publications share has increased by 5.53% (from 13.69% to 19.22%) in public health and by 2.98% (from 23.73% to 26.70%) in nursing, as against decrease by 6.96% (from 12.50% to 5.54%) in dentistry from 1997-99 to 2005-07 (Table 24).

Comparative Global Publications Share by Subject: India’s global publication share in least productive subject areas of research during 1997-07 was: (i) 0.73% in India, compared to 0.65% in China, 0.56% in Brazil, and 1.42% in South Korea in public health; (ii) 1.36% in India, compared to 0.92% in China, 5.19% in Brazil and 1.06% in South Korea in dentistry and (iii) 0.30% in India, compared to 0.55% in China, 0.44% in Brazil and o.38% in South Korea in nursing (Table 25).

Table 22: Least Productivity Subject Areas – National Publication Statistics

Subject

Research Output

Publication Share (%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Public Health

1752

263

765

0.54

0.40

0.63

Dentistry

1132

136

686

0.35

0.21

0.56

Nursing

607

59

352

0.19

0.09

0.29

Table 23: Select Developing Countries Share in National Output in Least Productive Subject Categories

Subjects

Percentage Share of National Output, 1997-2007

India

China

Brazil

South Korea

Public Health

0.54

0.16

0.70

1.33

Dentistry

0.35

0.08

2.23

0.34

Nursing

0.19

0.11

0.46

0.29

Table 24: Least Productive Subject Areas- International Collaboration Statistics

Subject

International Collaborative Research Output

International Collaborative Research Output

(%)

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

1997-07

1997-99

2005-07

Difference

97-99 to 05-07

Public Health

292

36

147

16.67

13.69

19.22

5.53

Dentisry

74

17

38

6.54

12.50

5.54

-6.96

Nurs

152

14

94

25.04

23.73

26.70

2.98

Table 25: Least Productivity Subject Areas- Global Publication Share of India, China and Brazil

Subject

India

China

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Public Health

0.45

1.07

0.73

0.24

1.14

0.65

Dentistry

0.82

2.66

1.36

0.48

1.86

0.92

Nursing

0.11

0.48

0.30

0.14

1.39

0.55


Subject

Brazil

South Korea

1997

2007

1997-07

1997

2007

1997-07

Public Health

0.20

1.16

0.56

0.71

2.02

1.42

Dentistry

1.25

9.11

5.19

0.23

1.51

1.06

Nursing

0.08

1.09

0.44

0.05

1.05

0.38

Conclusion

Based on analysis of publications output data for India for 1997-07 it is seen that India’s scientific activity is on the rise; it is growing at an average rate of 7.76% per annum. However, despite the significant rise in its average growth rate, India’s global share for 1997-07 is still very small (2.11%) compared to leading world economies especially China. China’s global share to S&T has shown significant rise from 2.76% in 1997 to 11.51% in 2007 with its average share of 6.50% for 1997-07.

India ranked at 12th position among the top 20 productive countries in the world in science and technology, as seen from world publications output data for 1997-07. India’s world share for 1997-07 was 2.11%. The other countries in the top 20 list that contributed world publications share similar to that of India (in the range 2.0% to 2.50%) are Russia, Spain, and Australia. The United States continues to top the list of 20 productive world countries with its global publication share of 23.44% for 1997-07. China ranked at 5th position. The top countries like United Kingdom, Japan, China, Germany, and France contributed world share in the range 4.5% to 7.5%.

The developed and developing countries differ significantly in their annual average publication growth rates in science and technology. Whereas the developed world countries have shown their growth rate averaging between 0% and 5%, the developing countries on the contrary have shown growth comparatively at higher rates, in the range 5% to 20%.

India has shown close similarity in S&T research with countries like Russia, China, South Korea and Taiwan, which have shown, like India, strong emphasis in physical and engineering sciences, but are weak in health sciences.

Physical science is the top priority area of S&T research in India, followed by life sciences, engineering sciences and health sciences. Compared to world average output figures by subject, India’s national publications share in physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering sciences each has been above the global average. But in health sciences its share has been below the global average in the discipline. This demonstrates India’s strength and weakness in different disciplines. The policy makers in science and technology needs to ponder over and decide for the future the R&D priorities that India needs to pursue to lead India as a knowledge economy by 2020

Medicine, chemistry, physics, agricultural & biological sciences, engineering, biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology and the materials science are the leading most productive subject areas of research in India. India’s national publications share in these subject areas was between 12.00% and 19.15% of the cumulative publication output by country during 1997-07. Earth & planetary sciences, environmental science, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, chemical engineering, mathematics, immunology & microbiology, vet science and computer science are the nine medium productive subject areas of research, each contributing between 3.14% to 6.30% share to the cumulative publication output by India during 1997-07. Energy and neurology are the two low productivity subject areas of India contributing share between 1.33% and 1.84% in cumulative publication output during 1997-07.

India’s national publications share from 1997-99 to 2005-07 has increased in 14 out of 20 S&T subjects. The largest increase of 3.68% (from 16.57% to 20.25%) in national publication share from 1997-99 to 2005-07 has been observed in medicine, followed by biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology, computer science and engineering (from 1.03% to 2.63%), materials science, immunology & microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics, environmental science, chemical engineering, public health, nursing and neurology (from 0.15% to 0.93%). In contrast, the largest decrease of 2.37% in national publication share from 1975-99 to 2005-07 was observed in agricultural & biological sciences, followed by earth & planetary sciences and veterinary science, physics, energy and mathematics (from 0.15% to 0.87%).

In terms of global publication share in 20 broad subject areas during 1997-2007, the largest share (5.36%) is accounted by veterinary science, followed by chemistry (4.57%), agricultural & biological sciences (4.05%), materials science (3.41%), pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics (3.39%), chemical engineering (2.77%), environmental science (3.32%), physics (2.73%), mathematics (2.31%), earth & planetary sciences (2.27%), physics (9.28%), immunology & microbiology (2.22%), biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology (2.11%), energy (2.02%), engineering (1.69%), computer science (1.49%), medicine (1.48%), dentistry (1.36%), neurology (0.91%), public health (0.73%) and nursing (0.30%).

India has improved its global publication share in 16 broad subjects out of 20 from the year 1997 to the year 2007, but the largest increase (1.89%) is achieved by chemistry, followed by dentistry, immunology & microbiology, environmental science, biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology and materials science (from 1.17% to 1.84%), neurology, agricultural & biological sciences, chemical engineering, medicine, physics, and public health (from 0.50% to 0.99%), engineering, nursing, computer science and earth & planetary sciences (from 0.05% to 0.42%) . In contrast, the largest decrease in India’s global publication share (1.19%) from the year 1997 to the year 2007 was observed by pharmacology, toxicology & immunology, followed by 0.49% in mathematics, 0.34% in energy and 0.13% in veterinary science.

Among the S&T fields, the largest share (28%) of international collaborative papers during 1997-2007 was in mathematics, followed by physics (27.5%), computer science (25.77%), nursing (23.15%), earth & planetary sciences (21.37%0, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (19.12%), immunology & microbiology (18.88%), materials science (17.04%), energy (16.1%), neurology (15.93%), public health (15.46%), and engineering (14.40%). The largest increase (6.29%) in international collaborative share from 1997-99 to 2005-07 has taken place in neurology, followed by earth & planetary sciences (6.05%), public health (5.53%), materials science (5.30%), medicine (4.31%), agricultural & biological sciences (3.44%), environmental science (3.29%), nursing (2.98%), chemical engineering (2.98%), pharmacology, toxicology & pharmaceutics (2.68%), veterinary science (2.51%), mathematics (2.31%), biochemistry, genetics & molecular biology (2.28%), chemistry (2.14%), etc. On other hand, the largest decrease (10.10%) in international collaborative papers share from 1997-99 to 2005-07 has taken place in computer science, followed by dentistry (6.96%), energy (1.08%), and immunology & microbiology (0.26%).

It is concluded that compared to other countries like China, South Korea and Brazil, India has to substantially improve its publication output and quality. For this, investment in R&D has to be substantially increased and quality of R& D manpower improved. For improving the quality, international collaboration, which is very low compared to other similarly placed countries, has to be substantially enhanced. The quality of courses has been improved and ongoing teachers training courses has been designed in such a way so that they can stay in touch with latest developments in the field.

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