In a bid to even out the ever widening research gap between India and China, the government is considering exempting PhD aspirants from the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). The test is a national gateway for pursuing research at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other central science and engineering institutions. Most PhD programmes at the IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other central science schools currently consider GATE scores.
The Standing Committee of the IIT Council (SCIC) â€“ an executive sub-group of the apex decision making body of the IITs -- will discuss the plan at a key meet on November 5 at IIT Bombay. The meet will focus on strategies to ramp up the countryâ€™s science research.
This proposal among a set of recommendations will be reviewed at the meeting. The recommendations have been made by a panel headed by former atomic energy czar Anil Kakodkar. The Kakodkar panel has set a target of increasing Indiaâ€™s annual science and engineering PhD output from about 9000 at present to 40,000 by 2025. The IITs alone contribute about 1000 of the current PhDs each year. China already produces about 50,000 PhDs in science and engineering each year, reported Hindustan Times.
China and India were almost at par in quantity of peer-reviewed science research at the start of the millennium, but the former has leapfrogged almost four fold ahead over the past 12 years. Globally, China today provides almost 12% of the worldâ€™s research publications in science and engineering, while Indian research makes up just over 3%.
The US share in world research has declined sharply from the 1980s but it still has 30% of the worldâ€™s science and engineering research.