The DST- Centre for Policy Research (DST-CPR) at IISc is one of the outcomes of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, 2013 with the objective to create and strengthen the institutionalisation of policy research mechanism in India. It was established in August 2014 with the major goal of studying policies and mechanisms that can help increase the research impact of Indian institutions and thereby improve their position in global rankings. The Centre’s work towards this goal has multiple facets, including a scientometric study to access how well Indian institutions perform in various fields of scientific research.
During the initial couple of years, the Centre focused on building a strong foundation and expertise in Scientometrics with the help of leading scientometricians and information scientists. However, it has now expanded its focus to various research themes including R&D Statistics, STI Indicators, Science Advice Mechanism, Science Diplomacy, Open Science, Responsible Research and Innovation, Public Engagement in Science, Technology Assessment, and Gender in Science.
The Centre engages closely with different government bodies, private organisations and academic institutions, of national and international repute to provide pragmatic and evidence-based recommendations for enhancing decision-making processes in STI. In addition to collaborative projects, research publications and reports, the Centre is actively involved in various outreach, capacity-building and training activities.
Centre is also responsible for managing the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy fellowship programme of DST (DST-STI-PFP). All DST-STI policy fellows from 2020 batch onwards are affiliated with the Centre and hosted at different institutes and government offices. Centre coordinates the programme, organises various events for fellow’s professional development and conducts their annual review.
Centre’s Scientometrics 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 popular media. During the year 2018-19, the team rolled-out this methodology for studying the research performance of some of the major disciplines, such as engineering, materials, astrophysics, mathematics and biological sciences.
In addition to research performance evaluation of scientific disciplines, the scientometrics team works closely with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India on policy issues such as open access, STI indicators and data architectures. 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 has helped not only our team but all users of InCites worldwide in terms of getting relevant as well as more accurate data.
National and International linkages
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 (Karlsruhe 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.