Improving standard of Research & development in Higher education in India

 
 what is higher secondary education in india
 
Indian higher education system is successfully churning out a gargantuan number of graduates every year but this success hasn’t reflected in the research and development standards of the country. The current article talks about the ground realty of R& D in India and measures to improve the existing standards.
 
Why R&D?
 
Research and Development involves discovering knowledge about products and services, and application of that knowledge in creating new products to meet the ever-changing market requirements. Research & Development phrase refers to “creative work undertake on a systematic basis in order to increase the existing stock of knowledge, that includes knowledge of man, culture and society , and the use of that knowledge to devise new applications.” R&D helps in continuous revitalization of knowledge and results in improved operational process, better products and reduced costs.  There are no two thoughts about the fact that countries which regularly engage in research and development activity maintain an extra edge over others. Hence, in order to maintain its competitiveness in the global world, it is crucial for an economy to invest ample resources in new R &D. 
 Research & development
State of R&D in India
 
The current scenario of R & D in India is not very encouraging. It spends only 1% of its GDP on research which is quite less than what developed economies like U.S and Japan spend (2.7% and 3.4% respectively). India’s contribution to global R&D expenditure has stagnated at a paltry 3.7% for the last five years, while India’s direct competitor China has increased its share from 13% to 18% during the same period.  Research productivity statistics reveal that India has 7.8 scientists for every 1,000 population, which is a shockingly low number when compared to 139.16 in Russia, 180.66 in Canada and 21.15 in the United States.
 
 
The sorry state of R&D in India is inspired by a lack of research environment in the secondary education system of the country. Out of the 4, 00,000 engineering graduates, only 20,000 go on to pass master’s degree and even fewer Ph.Ds. This symbolizes that less than 1% of the total student enrolling for higher education are pursuing Ph.D.  Moreover, the majority of research work is being performed in a handful of institutes like Jaipur National University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, BARC, IITs and Banaras Hindu University amongst others. Owing to huge shortage in good faculty, the overall quality of doctoral studies is also not satisfactory in most of the institutes
 
Changes required in University education 
There is an urgent need to rewrite the Indian academic research story.  Indian universities should inculcate dynamism and adaptability to the ever-changing needs and priorities of the society and the global market. Instead of reining the young minds, it should offer an arena of freedom to help them innovate. The declining trend of students opting for basic science in favor of high-ROI professional courses is a disturbing thought. To reverse this trend, a public-private partnership in the education system will have the desired effect. Plus, there is a need for greater funds infusion for research. To implement the same, a critical review of the research activities of educational institutes and their budgetary requirements should be conducted. Traditional incremental budgeting should be replaced by performance based financing to control quality erosion and resource-wastage.
 
National Accreditation and Assessment Council: In order to sustain and meet the challenges of globalization, the quantitative expansion of higher education should go hand in hand with improvement in the quality of the academia. Emphasis on quality parameters becomes all the more necessary in the light of mushrooming of private institutions with the opening up of the Indian economy. Setting up of NAAC (National Accreditation and Assessment Council) is the right step towards the same. It has sent positive signals for generating and promoting awareness of the urgent need of quality up-gradation of Colleges and Universities. The urgent need is to identify effective ways and strategies to expedite the completion of assessment, accreditation and re-accreditation by NAAC within a stipulated timeframe.
 
Improving quality of research for Ph.D programs
Ph.D is the flagship program for those engaged in research & development across the world. Therefore, improving the standard of Ph.D. course is one of the most essential elements of enhancing R&D credentials of the country.  There are certain modifications required in the current structure to realize the full potential of this program. The research topic allotted to a Research Scholar should be original. This can be ensured by creating a Cell where all the data regarding registrations of topics in a particular subject for Ph.D. is available at the initial stage of research.
Improve the evaluation system: Further, there is a need to completely overhaul the evaluation system of a Ph.D. thesis. There is a strong prevalence of favoritism, where the appropriate candidates are rejected in favor of students those who do not have any aptitude for research. They acquire the degree without many efforts as their thesis are sent to their supervisor’s friend or colleague for evaluation.   Elimination of this malpractice requires the absence of any role of the supervisor at any stage, in selecting the panel of the examiners. A centralized system of evaluation should be implemented by the UGC. Such changes along with the existing government initiatives are surely going to light the path ahead for R& D in India.
Author Bio
Saurabh Tyagi is a specialist writer, with an experience of over 4 years in writing content. He loves to write on topics related to career, education, various LLB colleges in India, real estate, Management Courses and technology. 

 

 

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