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India lags far behind China, US in R&D, says report

February 07, 2014 10:55 IST

India lags far behind in field of scientific research and development globally which is led by the United States, while China exhibited the most dramatic R&D spending growth pattern, an official American report has said.

Worldwide R&D performance (measured as expenditures) totalled an estimated $1,435 billion in 2011, which is the latest global total available.

The comparable figure for 2001 was $753 billion, which reflected a brisk, 6.7 per cent average annual growth over a decade, said the report released yesterday by the National Science Board.

American R&D increased to $407 billion in 2010 and to $424 billion in 2011.

At just under 30 per cent of the global total in 2011, the United States remains, by far, the world’s largest R&D performer.

Nonetheless, with other countries also expanding their investments in R&D, the US share has declined since 2001, when it was 37 per cent, the report said.

However, it is China which has continued to exhibit the most dramatic R&D growth pattern during this period.

At $208 billion of R&D expenditures in 2011, China is the world’s second-largest R&D performer.

While this is less than half the US level, the growth in China’s R&D spending has averaged an exceptionally high 20.7 per cent annually in 2001–11.

India’s figure was a mere $24 billion in 2007, the latest available figure in the report.

Annual growth rate for US R&D averaged 4.3 per cent over the same period.

Corresponding average annual growth rates for the largest R&D countries of the EU (Germany, France, United Kingdom) are in the three per cent to six per cent range.

According to the report, the economies of East/Southeast and South Asia—including China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—represented 25 per cent of the global R&D total in 2001 but accounted for 34 per cent in 2011.

China (15 per cent) and Japan (10 per cent) were the largest R&D performers in this group, it said.

After the United States and China, Japan with $147 billion is the third largest spender in R&D.

The largest EU performers spend comparatively less: Germany ($93 billion, seven percent), France ($52 billion, four per cent), and the United Kingdom (three percent).

R&D spending by South Korea has also been rising in recent years and accounted for four per cent ($60 billion) of the global total in 2011.

"Taken together, these top seven countries account for about 72 per cent of total global R&D.

The Russian Federation, Taiwan, Brazil, Italy, Canada, India, Australia and Spain make up the next tier of performers, with total R&D expenditures ranging from $20 billion to $35 billion.

The top seven countries, along with the second group of eight economies, together account for 84 per cent of current global R&D," the report added.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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