'Institutions Should Seek Private Funding for Research'
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor has said that it is high time that research institutions in the state looked at the private sector for funding their research than depend totally on the government.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Indo-German Symposium and Workshop on ‘Innovating Translational Research for Neuro Rehabilitation and Pain Management’, organised jointly by the Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST) and the German House for Research and Innovation, New Delhi.
“Research is an important priority for the country and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Science Congress here had stressed on the need to double our expenditure on research. Unfortunately there has not been a significant increase,” he said.
“But when I look at the OECD countries, 75 per cent of all research and development is funded by the private sector. Instead of the government funding all the research and then institutes finding an industrial partner to market the output, it would be better to get them involved right from the start. This would also reduce expectation for funding from the government,” he said.
The Minister, who expressed happiness at the German collaboration, also said that the SCTIMST, with its strong foundation in research, could attempt to get into the various university rankings, which hardly lists any Indian Universities.
“We all know Indian universities are not that bad, but they have largely remained teaching universities with very little research component. The ranking procedures give 30 per cent weightage to research and 30 percent to citations of research publications, which is probably why none of our universities are in the top 200,” Tharoor said.
“The SCTIMST stands a good chance of getting ranked and should compete seriously to become the first university to enter the ranking,” he said.
Stating that neuro-rehabilitation and pain management are of extreme importance, Tharoor wished more and more institutions would collaborate with institutions abroad.
The two-day event will bring together clinicians and researchers of Germany, Switzerland and India to open up future avenues of collaboration.
Delivering the presidential address, SCTIMST director Dr Jagan Mohan Tharakan said that in Kerala, where there is an increase of parkinsonism and dementia, there is a need to make neuro-rehabilitation more effective and affordable to all.
Eva Grill of LMU, Germany, Planning Board vice-chairman K M Chandrasekhar, SCTIMST dean Dr Suresh Nair, organising chairman Dr Muraleedharan, Head of BMT wing C P Sharma and organising secretary Dr Abraham Kuruvilla spoke.