Publish In India

Education is central to the development of Human Capital. Higher education, in particular has been regarded as a form of investment. Growth economists have captured the essence of higher education as something which can spur economic growth. Over the past few decades or so, owing to brain drain, we have lost a good number of academicians to other countries. Lack of infrastructure coupled up with lack of government’s focus in the past had contributed to this brain drain. This resulted in the lack or rather absolute absence of Indian contribution towards academic research (basic sciences, medicines, management etc.).

Further, this has also resulted in the gradual erosion of academic capabilities of individuals in terms of contributing towards research. This has formed a vicious cycle of lack of academic credentials. The number of research publications from India in comparison to other developed economies is again in a very sad state. This is further deteriorated with instances of academic plagiarism [1] and scientific misconduct [2].

Again to be called a superpower in the future, one cannot ignore academics. The only way, the Indian academics can find its lost glory, if more and more publications start coming from India and that too of superior quality. With the success of #MakeInIndia campaign, can we have something along the same lines? Let us call it #PublishInIndia.

Even though it could sound too naïve, we can have the following roadmap for the same, addressing both short term and long term solutions and if implemented properly, can yield better dividends.

Short term solution: A lot of distinguished faculties having Indian roots, achieved a lot in academics, and also want to return to India post retirement should be the first targets. Lucrative salaries should be offered to them, so they can happily return to India and assume the position of Professor Emeritus in some Indian Institute. If they have some research articles in the pipeline, and then they should be asked to use Indian affiliation to get the articles published. This will give a short term up-thrust to publications from India. But this model is definitely not sustainable in the long run.

Long term solution: As I mentioned earlier, Indian academicians also lack the basic knowhow to contribute towards research. These faculties hired from other foreign universities should also be used to nurture the required talent through conducting several workshops. This will yield a long term solution and will also give a major boost to #PublishInIndia campaign. Further, India needs to open up to form foreign collaborations at a greater scale.

Another dimension of this long term solution could be to develop journals that can match the likes of Nature, Science, Harvard Business Review etc. Once the first objective of nurturing Indian talent is achieved, this could also be achieved as consequence of the same by incentivizing top researchers to be on the Editorial Board.

In the current, some B-schools or some other institutions are trying to follow this model but with very limited success. To make this model successful, it requires a great push from the government.




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