Developing countries should undertake more research

While the entire people of the world benefits from research, major research is undertaken mostly by the US and other developed countries. According to the Government of India, at present India spends less than 1% of its GDP on research and development in the field of science and technology. According to UNESCO, China spends around 1.5%., Japan 3.4%, South Korea 3.5%, Singapore 2.6% and Finland 3.7%. The US spends around 3% of its GDP.

Developing countries, particularly large ones such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria should feel that it is in their interest also to engage in research and try to spend at least 2% of their GDP on research. India and China being large countries with large economies, should take initiative in this case.

Similarly a larger number of scientists should engage in both scientific and industrial research. In the year 2006, it was announced in the Parliament of India that there were only 120 (0.012% of  population) active scientists per million of population in India, as compared to 2,691 per million of population in United Kingdom i.e. 0.26% of the population. According to UNESCO, there were about 7.1 million researchers in the world which works out to a little over 0.1% of global population. Developing countries have only 2.7 million or 0.05% of population in research while developed countries have 4.4 million or 0.5% of the population.

Paucity of funds should not be a reason for such low number of scientists in developing countries. Scientific and industrial research should be given top priority.

The world will be a much better place to live, if all developing countries particularly the large one, encourage at least 0.2% of the population and 2% of their GDPs  for research and development.

This is one way of changing the world order.


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