China overtakes India in PhDs too
29 Jun 2009, 0505 hrs IST, SEETHALAKSHMI S, TNN
BANGALORE: It’s not just agriculture, even in doctoral degrees (PhDs), China seems to have overtaken India.
Even as the debate rages over Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal’s reforms in school and university education, the National Knowledge Commission has asked the HRD ministry to go in for an immediate revamp in the way universities go about awarding PhDs.
Their fear is not unfounded. The growth in the number of doctorates in India is a mere 20% as compared to 85% in China!
Worse, not more than 1% of students who complete their under-graduate degrees opt for doctoral studies in India. The NKC’s survey across India has thrown up these facts at a time when our research laboratories are crying for well-trained young doctorates.
‘‘In many disciplines, there is severe shortage of doctoral fellows. This problem is likely to be even more acute in the new universities.
We must stem the rot today. Else, India’s position as a knowledge economy will wane away.
There is a need for urgent government policy interventions, including high priority initiatives to attract, nurture, and retain the country’s best young minds in academia and research,’’ a renowned scientist, who is a part of PM’s scientific advisory council, said.
Though the exhaustive survey was completed early 2009, it was revised recently to take into account the new changes in the higher education sector. As a first step, NKC has recommended introduction of well-planned four-year courses to enable direct entry into PhD programmes. This apart, to provide flexibility for those with a bent of research, there must be multiple pathways for entry into PhD.
At present most of the universities or elite institutions in the country are involved in training for the Masters or PhD degrees. To put India on the global map in research, NKC has recommended that NRI/PIO scientists conduct cutting edge research in India and create joint PhD programmes between universities both within and outside the country.
China overtakes India in PhDs too - India - The Times of India