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5) The decision to provide financial rewards for publication in science journals and patents is fraught with problems. Discuss. (250 words)

Topic – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

5) The decision to provide financial rewards for publication in science journals and patents is fraught with problems. Discuss. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The government has recently hiked the research fellowship for the phd students in India. The government has also decided to link the incentives paid to the research fellows with the number of publications in international or national journals. In this context it is important to discuss whether such incentives will help India’s research sector.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question what is this to write in detail about the linking of incentives for research with the number of publications and bring out how this move is fraught with problems.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent decision of the government to hike research fellowships and putting forward the idea of linking incentives with publications and patents.

Body-

Discuss how the decision to provide financial rewards for publication in science journals and patents is fraught with problems. E.g

  • It could lead to increase in unethical research practices and frauds by researchers, which already has an ignominious record in this area and has no nodal body to address scientific frauds and unethical practices.
  • It is worth remembering that though the University Grants Commission’s intent to introduce Academic Performance Indicators was good, APIs were largely responsible for the spike in predatory journals published from India.
  • There is little guarantee that the reward system based on publication will not lead to further erosion in the quality of science research in India.
  • In addition, giving greater rewards for publication in international journals makes no sense as international journals are not uniformly superior in quality to Indian ones. Similarly, some Indian journals are better than international ones despite having a low impact factor.
  • By giving 60% lower stipend to students publishing in Indian journals, the government will unwittingly be widening the gap between Indian and international journals, which will be self-destructive in the long run.
  • “majority of patents are ‘biodata’ patents” and are “filed for the sake of filing without any techno-commercial and legal evaluation”. In such a scenario, a financial incentive for patent-filing will only exacerbate the problem.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.