The Nature India portal features an interesting column -- The Quality - Quantity Conundrum -- by two colleagues of mine, Prof. Gautam Desiraju and Prof. M. Giridhar. [Note: the site requires (free) registration.] Here's a quick excerpt:
An earlier analysis on the contributions of the best 10 research institutions in these countries to their overall publication records showed that the premier Indian institutes contributed nearly 30% over the span of 25 years. This is in keeping with the sluggish Indian curve in figure 1. However, in China, the contribution of the top institutes has decreased from 53% to 39% during the period of 2002 to 2008, which coincides with the exponential overall growth in that country. Clearly this means that the second and third rung research institutes have begun to participate actively in research. This can only be possible if trained manpower who studied in the top institutes went on to teach and do research in these institutes.
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While much of their analysis is admirably data-driven, I wish they didn't take a loose, evidence-free swipe at the reservation policy:
There is also a real need now to assess the consequences of the caste based reservation system. Where has 50 years of reservation taken us, in a world where no quotas are applied in competitive activity?
The issue may appear in the form of a hard-nosed question about the consequences of reservation, but this sort of rhetoric is intellectually lazy -- as lazy, in fact, as that flowing in the opposite direction: where has 60+ years of upper caste domination of higher education and scientific research taken us?