India's Science Funding Crisis: Why is the Fifth Largest Economy Lagging Behind?


Just assume, there is a lot of fertile land in front of you and you have a seed in your hand, But the question is how much you are feeling hungry? Are you so hungry that you have to eat that seeds under compulsion? There is no bigger tragedy than this and in the USA it is said that Starving Research and Development is like eating seed corn. If you see in India we are doing it.

The study has told us that the name of India figures among the countries which pay the least for research and development in the world. Ok, in this case, our condition is a bit bad but how bad? Let me tell you that at present India is about 0.65% spending on R&D from its total GDP. If you look at China in comparison to India's research and development, First of all, China's GDP is not many times bigger than our country, even after that China spends 2.14% on research and development, Germany's economy is bigger than India, but even then it spends 3.13% of its GDP. If you look at Israel's research and development, the percentage will be very high, around 5%, but Israel's economy is very low, then you will get their 5% much less than India's 0.7%. But still from this, you will know how much priority Israel gives on research and development.

This China will lead the world in the future in science and technology, India will be far behind, similarly if you look at the rest of the countries, again I am not seeing Brazil, Canada, and Mexico in these countries. He is not in the race.

India is actually increasing its investment in research and development (R&D) in recent years, but it may still appear lower compared to some other countries due to various factors.

There are several reasons for this.

One reason is the difference in the size and level of development of the economy. India is a developing country with a large population and many socio-economic challenges to address, so it has to balance its priorities and allocate resources accordingly. In contrast, some developed countries have smaller populations and higher per capita income, which allows them to allocate a larger portion of their budget to R&D, and the government has to allocate resources to a wide range of social and economic programs. In such a scenario, spending on R&D may not be considered a priority.

Another factor is the distribution of funding sources. In India, a significant portion of R&D spending comes from the government, but private-sector investment is also increasing. In some other countries, such as the United States, private sector investment in R&D is much higher than the government's investment. India is still a developing country, and secondly, the private sector in India is not as actively involved in R&D as in some other countries. Many Indian companies still rely on imitation and adaptation rather than innovation, which limits their willingness to invest in R&D.

Additionally, the focus of research in India may be different from that of other countries. For instance, India has been investing heavily in research in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, and renewable energy, which are crucial for its development goals. In contrast, some other countries may be investing more in defense, space exploration, or high-tech industries.

Overall, while India may appear to spend less on R&D compared to some other countries, it is important to consider the country's unique economic and social context and its investment priorities. However, India has taken steps to increase its spending on R&D in recent years. The government has set a target of increasing R&D spending to 2% of GDP by 2022 and has introduced several initiatives to encourage private sector investment in R&D.

DATA source UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2018 

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