Singh: India Falling Behind China in Science Skills

Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 7:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he worries that the country is falling behind China in scientific skills.

In a speech to inaugurate the 99th Indian Science Congress in the northeastern city of Bhubaneshwar Tuesday, Mr. Singh said India's position in the world of science has been declining for decades and it has been overtaken by countries like China. He called for doubling spending on scientific research.

Indian officials say technology skills are critical to a country whose economy has been powered by its scientists and engineers.

China's economy has flourished thanks to its low-cost manufacturing skills, while India has become an information technology hub.

But concerns are growing that the South Asian giant may be losing the edge to China, as Beijing pours a lot of money into science, research and innovation in a bid to not just make, but also to innovate, products.

Prime Minister Singh called on the private sector to increase its contribution to scientific innovation. He said the government also must give a boost to the science and technology sectors and increase spending on scientific research and development.

Indian companies have been complaining about the skills that engineers and other workers are bringing to the office. They say those skills are not adequate, and they have called for improvements in the quality of education.