Indian universities need to focus on research as building up research and development (R&D) is one way India can maximise its economic potential, union Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor said Thursday.
Speaking at the two-day Global R&D Summit here on the opening day, Tharoor called for increasing collaboration between industry and academia in this regard.
Observing that no Indian university figures among the list of top 200 universities of the world, Tharoor said: "When we looked into the rating system, we found that 30 percent weightage while ranking universities globally was given to research and another 30 percent was given to citations."
"Our universities are primarily teaching institutions and we need to change it. Indian universities need to focus more on research."
The minister said his ministry has been focusing on putting more money into research and development and private players must also pitch in.
He said the Universities for Research and Innovation Bill 2012 -- aimed at creating research institutions -- is pending before parliament.
"R&D as prime driver of the economic growth cannot be overlooked. Solutions to challenges of food and water security, eradicating diseases and providing education to all can be found if we embrace work culture that gives preferences to R&D," he said.
Quoting a recent report, which revealed that $1.4 trillion were spent globally on R&D, Tharoor said that of this, India's contribution was only 2.1 percent compared to 33 percent by the US and over 12.6 percent by China.