India pips US, China and European Union, tops in producing science and engineering grads, says report

Washington: India accounts for one-fourth of the estimated 7.5 million bachelor in science and engineering degrees awarded across the world in 2014, a report has said.

However, it's the US that tops the charts in research and development spending, according to the annual Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 report of the National Science Foundation has said.

China's growth in science and engineering field continued at an exceptional pace, the report said.

The US is the global leader in science and technology (S&T). However, its global share of S&T activities is declining as other nations - especially China - continue to rise.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to the most recent estimates, in 2014, the US awarded the largest number of S&E doctoral degrees (40,000) of any country, followed by China (34,000), Russia (19,000), Germany (15,000), the United Kingdom (14,000) and India (13,000).

In contrast, the US lags in bachelor's level degrees.

India earned 25 percent of the more than 7.5 million awarded S&E bachelor's level degrees in 2014, followed closely by China (22 percent), the EU (12 percent) and the US (10 percent). Nearly half of all degrees awarded in China are in S&E fields.

Since 2000, the number of S&E bachelor's degrees awarded in China has gone up by 300 percent, the report said.

Among the major producers of S&E publications, the United Kingdom had the highest international collaboration rate (57 percent) in 2016, followed by France (55 percent) and Germany (51 percent). The US followed with a 37 percent international collaboration rate, up 12 percent from 2006.

The impact of S&E publications has also become more global. Between 2004 and 2014, the share of US publications with citations from abroad increased from 47 percent to 56 percent.

While the US led the world in R&D expenditures at $496 billion (26 percent share of the global total) in 2015, China was a decisive second at 21 percent ($408 billion).

China has grown its R&D spending at an average of 18 percent annually since 2000. During the same time frame, the US R&D spending grew by only four percent.

According to the report, the US invests the most in research and development (R&D), attracts the most venture capital, awards the most advanced degrees, provides the most business, financial and information services, and is the largest producer in high-technology manufacturing sectors.

Similarly, while the US attracted the most investment (nearly $70 billion), accounting for slightly more than half of the global share, 26 percent of total venture capital funds went to China.

Countries also specialise in different fields of research, with the US, EU and Japan publishing heavily across the medical and biological sciences, while India and China focus on engineering, the report said.

Updated Date: Jan 19, 2018 10:12 AM

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