India high in quantity but low in quality in research: Dr. SK Varshney

SGT Times Reporter

India ranks third in the world in terms of quantity of research as per NFS data and fifth as per the Scopus records, but if one looks at the impact of this research it is missing.

This was stated by Dr. SK Varshney, Advisor, and Head, International Bilateral Cooperation Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India while addressing faculty members and researchers in SGT University, Gurugram today. Dr. Varshney was delivering a guest lecture on “Funding Opportunities through the Department of Science and Technology (DST).”

“We are good in quantity, but the quality is missing,” Dr. Varshney said regarding the status of research in India.

He said that the research should always be relevant to people and that societal connection is very important adding that knowledge must eventually be converted into products.

Beginning his lecture by describing his department, he said that the DST aims to develop scientific temper among people. He said with coronavirus crippling the world during the past two years and still not gone, people were discussing how science provided solutions to the pandemic. “If we have confidence that virus will no more harm people, this only shows the confidence we have in science and scientists,” he added.

Discussing the funding opportunities, Dr. Varshney said that the DST provides funds to individual researchers as well as institutions. The DST promotes not only basic sciences but also newer sciences and multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary areas of science and technology.

He said that the universities can work on how science and technology can be applied directly to society. He also emphasized the need to work on Science Communication so that when a scientist communicates, a common man can understand. He said that though states also have their science and technology departments, they are loosely connected to the DST. He said that the DST was working towards gender balance in the organization, but while things have improved at the lower level of the ladder, there were very few women at the leadership level.

Talking about the three arms of the DST, Dr. Varshney said that while Science and Engineering Board (SERB) provided funding for engineering, Technology Development Board (TDB) and the National Entrepreneurship Board (NEB) worked for the development of technology and entrepreneurship respectively.

He described in detail various schemes of the DST and urged researchers to benefit from these opportunities.

Earlier, Prof. Vijay Bhalla, Principal, SGT College of Pharmacy, welcomed Dr. Varshney on behalf of the Chairperson and Managing Trustee of the University. Dr, Varshney was felicitated by Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Pro-Chancellor, and Dr. Madan Chaturvedi, Provost of the University. Prof. Rajneesh Wadhwa, Dean, International Affairs, Prof. Sushil Manav, Dean, Mass Communication and Media Technology and Dr. Raj K Shirumalla, Director, Research, College of Pharmacy were among those present. Dr. Radhika Rai moderated the event.

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