Science spend has plateaued at 0.69% of GDP: DST report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on January 09, 2018

But gross expenditure zooms in the last decade to hit ₹1.04-lakh cr in 2016-17

India’s spending on scientific research, as a percentage of GDP, has been steadily declining from its peak of 0.84 per cent in 2008-09 and has been stagnant at 0.69 per cent during the last three years, according an official publication released recently.

But in terms of funds released, India’s gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) has been steadily increasing over the years, and has tripled in a decade from ₹24,117 crore in 2004-05 to ₹85,326 crore in 2014-15. It was estimated to be ₹1,04,864 crore in 2016-17, according to Research and Development At a Glance 2017-18, published by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

In terms of purchasing power parity, India’s spending on scientific research went up 20 per cent from $40.2 billion in 2009-10 to $50.3 billion in 2014-15. It was estimated to go up to $55 billion in 2016-17. India’s per capita R&D expenditure, on the other hand, has increased to ₹659 ($10.8) in 2014-15 from ₹217 ($4.8) in 2004-05.

Among BRICS countries, India was ranked at the bottom in terms of percentage of GDP spent on R&D. China, which was at the top, spent 2.05 per cent of its GDP on research in 2014, distantly followed by Brazil (1.24 per cent), Russia (1.19 per cent) and South Africa (0.74 per cent).

All developed countries, on other hand, set aside more than 2 per cent of their GDP for scientific research, said the DST document.

In 2016-17, private enterprises spent ₹43,995 crore, close to 42 per cent, on R&D, while Central government agencies accounted for 47 per cent of GERD. State governments and institutions of higher education shared the balance.

In 2013, India was ranked sixth among countries in terms of number of publications even though it stood at seventh position in terms of number of science and technology personnel employed. As on April 1 2015, nearly 14 per cent of S&T personnel in the country were women.

India awarded 27,327 PhDs in 2014-15 of which 15,426 were from science and technology streams. India ranked third in terms of number of S&T PhDs, after China (30,017) and the US (26,520).

During 2015-16 a total of 46,904 patents were filed in India. Out of which 13,066 (28 per cent) patents were filed by Indian residents.

Patents sealed

The number of patents sealed the same year was 6,326, of which 918 patents were granted to Indian residents. As of 2015-16, there were 44,524 patents in force in India – 37,217 by foreigners and 7,306 by Indian residents.

Published on January 09, 2018
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