It would be interesting to compare India and Pakistan in the world of science and innovation. Everybody would think that India with its high economic growth rate and world class information technology industry is miles ahead. That may not be completely true.
A recent United Nations study finds that Pakistan has more researchers for a million people than India. Pakistan has 162 researchers for a million people as compared to 135 in India.
But, when it comes to taking research to a logical and innovative end through patent registration, Pakistan is not even close to the south-Asian economic power. India has five patents for a million people, five times more than the Pakistanis.
The reason, as indicated by data in the UN report, could be Pakistan’s poor technological infrastructure as compared to India despite the youth there showing more interest than Indians in science and technology.
That is the only saving grace for Indians in the world of science and technology.
Otherwise, the so-called emerging economic power is not even close to several nations with slower economic growth rate. Sri Lanka registers three times more patents for a million people as compared to its northern neighbour India. Even Thailand has more patents and researchers per million people than India.
Comparison of India with China or United States would be shameful. China registers over a 100 patents for a million people as compared to five for India. US, with 707 patents for a million people, is among top scientific countries in the world after two Asian research giants Japan and South Korea with over 1,000 patents for a million people.
A senior government official was hopeful of dramatic change in India’s dismal record saying recent efforts to incentivise research would show results in the coming few years.