DST Centre for Policy Research, IISc
The Centre is supported by an expert advisory group from Indian Institute of Science to take decisions on various administrative, research and funding matters.
During the initial stages, the Centre focused on building a strong foundation & expertise in Scientometrics, identified a few leading scientometricians and information scientists to establish a DST-CPR team at IISc.
The team led by Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam (a globally renowned scientometrician) developed a methodology for data-collecting and a general framework for studying the research performance of Indian institutions in various scientific disciplines. Based on the same methodology, performance of India in Chemistry research during 2006-2015 has been analyzed and the findings are published in Current Science. The findings attracted some attention both from researchers and the popular media. During the FY 2017-18, the team rolled-out this methodology for studying the research performance of some of the major disciplines, such as, engineering, materials, astrophysics and mathematics. Data-collection is prepared, analysis is at the final stage and results will be published very soon. Similarly, the research performance analysis would be completed in the subsequent year for the remaining scientific disciplines including biological sciences, physics, etc.
In addition to research performance evaluation of scientific disciplines, the scientometrics team works closely with PSA to GOI, Prof. Vijay Raghavan on national policy for preprints and postprints, and contribute in promoting Open Access in India. Also, the team works closely with the Clarivate Analytics technical team to improve their InCites platform on issues such as data discrepancy, distribution of journals into different quartiles and clubbing all IITs (and many CSIR labs) together. This is important as this would help not only our team, but all the users of InCites worldwide in terms of getting relevant as well as more accurate data.
With the induction of DST-STI policy fellows, the Centre has seen an expansion not just in the team size but also in the research areas. The Centre currently studies topics such as R&D Statistics, STI Indicators, Industrial R&D policy, Government Science Advice, Science Diplomacy, Responsible Research and Innovation, Technology Assessment, Public Engagement in Science and Women in Science. For the up coming year’s DST-STI-PFP scheme, the Centre floated an expression of interest call and sent out a letter of consent to some of the shortlisted candidates whose project matched/had complimenting interest with Centre’s research focus.
There is a strong growth in the Centre’s activities in terms of research footprints, research output, collaborations, capacity-building and training activities, outreach, infrastructure and facilities development. Through the visiting scholar’s program, the Centre aims to identify few more experts to join the team. The Centre would consider applications from interested candidates. A mechanism is being put in place for vetting these applications and identifying candidates who offer a good fit with the Centre’s research goals and initiatives. The policy internship program, launched during the summer of 2017, has been a success. It continued in the subsequent year 2018 as well. The Centre hosted a total of 7 interns (2 bachelors, 3 masters and 2 PhD students) during 2018. Seeing the success of this program, the Centre aims to expand this internship program in the successive years; this will go a long way towards training bachelors, masters and doctoral students in S&T policy studies.
The Centre had developed strong linkages with various national and international organizations. There are active MoUs with NITI Aayog and National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. The DST-CPR team at IISc had established a working relationship with agencies and institutions such as UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), Science and Engineering Indicators Unit of National Science Foundation (NSF), UNESCO Science Policy and Capacity-building Division, University of Sussex (UK), Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (Karsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany), UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University (Netherlands), OECD, PSA Office (GoI), NSTMIS (DST) and SPARC (Washington DC). Additionally, the Centre is in discussion with a few leading public policy schools in India to explore the possibilities of jointly developing a semester-long project work for their public policy masters’ students with a specific focus on science, technology and innovation.
In line with the international Open Access week, DST-CPR at IISc organized various events to create awareness about the Open Access. As part of the weeklong activities, the Centre organized a panel discussion to increase awareness and acceptability for open access publishing in India, with a specific focus on What Universities and Administrators Can Do to Promote Open Access? Benefitting from the visit of Dr. David Pendulburry, a long-term associate of Eugene Garfield (father of scientometrics), to India, the Centre organized a half-day event during Oct 2017 on ‘Eugene Garfield and Scientometrics’ Eugene Garfield in Memoriam. During December 11-13, 2017, jointly with NIAS, the Centre organized a 3-day intensive workshop on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research (WSTIPR-2017) at the IISc campus. This event was the first of its kind in India, aimed to provide Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy researchers and young scholars with a deeper understanding of STI policy drafting, implementation mechanisms and their subsequent socioeconomic impacts in India.