State of Indian Contribution in Computing R&D

Posted on July 22, 2010

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Author:  Sanjay Goel, http://in.linkedin.com/in/sgoel

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There are over a million software engineers working in India. Further, there are over two thousand colleges offering degree level educational programs in computing. The IT industry’s share in India’s GDP is more than 7%.  Seven Indian IT companies have been listed in the top 15 technology outsourcing companies of the world.

However, the R&D contribution of Indian Companies remains meager.  The ACM digital library gives access to almost 0.3 million papers.  Less than 0.7% papers have been contributed by authors having Indian affiliations. Before 2005, this fraction was only 0.3%. During 2005 to Feb 2010, it increased to 1.3%, which still is a very small number, given the huge number of software engineers and colleges offering computing degrees in India.

In fact, there are two contrasting pictures emerging wrt the R&D contribution of Indian companies:

Mainstream IT service companies:

A focused search (using affiliation option under advanced search) in March 2010 showed that some of the largest India-based IT companies, i.e., TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Satyam, Oracle India, have together so far collectively published less than 100 papers that are indexed on this digital library. This library does not include a single paper from other very large Indian IT companies like Tech Mahindra, Patni Computers, and Birlasoft.

A Pleasant Contrast: A hope for the future

 In the same period, Microsoft India and IBM India have published approximately 300 papers.  (It is interesting to note that  Microsoft and Google have contributed 3,885 and 582 papers respectively in the same period).

Further, according to a 2010 Nasscom report [1] [2], India’s fast growing engineering R&D services industry has reached $10 billion. As per this report, there are over 300 captive Engineering R&D facilities in India employing about 85,000 engineers. Further, the leading twenty  independent service providers that serve multiple verticals, employ over 60,000 engineers. Nasscom forecasts that this industry will reach $24 billion by 2015, and possibly $45 billion by 2020. During this period, India has the potential to capture a 40% share of global offshore revenues in 11 key verticals of engineering R&D services—Aerospace, Automative, Telecom, Semiconductor, Computing Systems, Consumer Electronics, Medical Devices, Energy, Infrastructure, Industrial Automation, and Construction/Heavy Machinary.

Reference:

1.  http://www.booz.com/media/uploads/NASSCOM_Booz_ESR_Report_2010.pdf

2. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2010/tc2010128_116888.htm

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Also check http://in.linkedin.com/in/sgoel

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