Kerala is likely to witness a surge in research spending in spite of the challenges in higher education, says Dr Sabu Thomas, Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), Kerala. He was speaking at the valedictory session of the Iinterdisciplinary Winter Research Methodology Web-Workshop in Social Sciences organized by the Inter University Centre for Social Science Research and Extensions (IUCSSRE), MGU.
Dr Sabu Thomas said that the higher education commission, of which he is a member, is seriously considering this recommendation for a major increase in research spending given the decline in overall research outlay in the country. He pointed out that India’s share of research spending is less than 1 percent of its GDP while countries like South Korea, China and the US spend much higher percentage as per the studies of various global agencies. It’s quite natural that increased expenditure on research has resulted in substantial increase in researchers and their publication output in these two countries, he said.
Though there has been an increase in research publications in India over years, it is still far behind countries such as China and the US, the VC noted. Prof Thomas also said that in the high-profile information age, quality of publications also matters. He said practices like plagiarism would have a negative impact on research output and a significant number of papers he had received for peer-review were found to be lacking unique content, thereby liable to be rejected for want of standards set for publication. He called for researchers to have a unique approach in innovation and thinking so that we can have high quality publications. Research output should also be made available for society for appropriate use, Prof Sabu added.
The Interdisciplinary Winter Research Methodology Web-Workshop for researchers from the universities in Kerala was held from 19 Nov 2021 to 25 Jan 2022. The faculties of the workshop included prominent scholars like Prof. P K Michel Tharakan, Chairman, Kerala Council for Historical Research, Prof Sunder Sarukkai, Founder-Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy andHumanities, Prof. Babu Thaliath, Professor of Philosophy and Senior Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz, Germany, Prof Bhangya Bhukya, Professor of History, Central University of Hyd, Prof. Sudha Mohan, former Prof of Political Science, Mumbai University, Prof Sasheej Hegde, Prof of Sociology, Central University of Hyd, Historian Prof. K N Ganesh, Prof. Najaf Haider, Prof of History, JNU, Prof. Jayan Jose Thomas, IIT Delhi, Prof A K Ramakrishnan JNU, Prof G Gopa Kumar, former VC, Central University of Kerala, Prof T T Sreekumar, EFL, Hyd, Prof Sanal Mohan, MGU, Prof V Mathew Kurian (KN Raj Centre), Dr Sujith Kumar Parayil, MGU, Dr Rajesh Komath, MGU, Dr Rekha Raj, MGU, Dr M H Ilias, Dean of Social Sciences, MGU, Dr P P Noushad, MGU, Dr K P Vijayakumar, Dr R Sugathan, Dr K M Seethi and others. Director, IUCSSRE welcomed the valedictory session.