Kerala is known for its stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife.
But is this just a natural attraction?
According to a recent survey, the state’s scientific research is on the decline.
In the year 2017-18, Kerala was ranked as the worst place for science research, with only 23% of students graduating from colleges having completed their degrees.
A survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Science-Madras (IIS-M), a global academic research institute, revealed that the state ranked at the top of the list of scientific research hotspots in the country.
This has left students with little confidence in the prospects for the scientific sector in the state.
The IIS-MS research shows that, globally, science education has suffered a significant decline in Kerala over the last decade.
In 2015, a survey conducted for the National Institute of Technology-Kolkata (NIT-K), which comprises 15 research institutes across the country, showed that only 6% of researchers in the Indian research sector were graduates of universities.
A further study conducted by IIS for the Indian Society for the Promotion of Science (ISPS) in the year 2020 showed that in Kerala only 7.6% of science graduates had completed their degree.
What can be done?
It is the responsibility of Kerala’s government to ensure that science education is improved, said IAS member Dr. Dinesh Karanakrishnan.
He said the government needs to take steps to ensure the future development of the science sector in Kerala.
He pointed out that Kerala has the largest number of universities in the world and many of them are ranked among the top 25 in the World Ranking of Science and Technology (WIST), an international ranking based on research outputs and global rankings.
Karanayakrishna said that in addition to the state government’s efforts, the Centre has a role to play in improving the quality of scientific education in Kerala and in its partnership with universities.
“There are many areas where we can contribute, including on education, workforce development and entrepreneurship.
We have been working on strengthening science education in the State and also through a ‘scientific alliance’ with universities, institutes and other institutions.
We hope to see a major boost in the future,” he said.
A special report from Next Big Futures titled ‘What will it need to do to improve Kerala’s scientific and technology research in the coming years?’ was published in February.
The report states that the research infrastructure of the state is crumbling due to the lack of funds.
The state’s primary education system is one of the lowest in the entire country.
The number of science teachers in Kerala has dropped by 50% in the last four years.
In a bid to address the issue of lack of science education, the Kerala Science Development Commission (KSDDC) is planning to start a new ‘science training programme’ that will be run by state government.
The KSDDC will establish science training centres across the state to prepare students for jobs in various sectors.
The plan is aimed at providing training to the young people who will be needed for the job market in the years to come.
The Kerala Science and Innovation Development (KSID) Authority is also looking at setting up two new science training programmes for students in secondary and tertiary education.
A proposal for a science education programme is also being considered by the government.
Karamanakrishnis vision for Kerala’s science education In the decade ahead, the IAS is planning on providing the next generation of scientists with opportunities to study and gain knowledge through training.
It is a project that will focus on bringing science education to the students of the State through educational institutes, instituting scientific research laboratories and instituting training centres.
A comprehensive roadmap is being drawn up for the development of science in the region.
This will ensure that Kerala’s future science sector can develop and compete with the rest of the country in terms of research output and research output per student.
This is the vision of Kerala Science Minister K. P. Rajagopalachari, who has been a science minister for the last nine years.
He has made Kerala a national leader in the field of science.
A key issue in the research and development of Kerala is the number of students studying science.
The government is planning a pilot project to assess the progress of science literacy in Kerala to see if it can improve the number.
Rajamouli K. Venkatesan, a former director general of the IIS, told Next Big that Kerala needs to increase the number and quality of science students in the next five years.
“The number of young people studying science in Kerala will have to increase, but it can’t be done without making the science more accessible to students and making the scientific infrastructure more efficient.
There has been so much talk of science-related innovations and the need for an infrastructure to facilitate the scientific research of the people.
We need to work towards this,” Venkats