Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India

MULTAN: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has produced 8,161 PhD scholars up till 2012. As many as 10 to 15 scholars are currently completing their degrees each week, HEC Media Project Manager Murtaza Noor said on Tuesday.

As many as 1,039 scholars have completed PhDs in agriculture and veterinary sciences, 1,211 in arts and humanities, 1,692 in biology and medical science, he said. As many as 1,978 scholars have been awarded PhDs in social sciences, 1,810 in physical science, 288 in engineering and technology and 143 in business education.

“Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India,” he said.

The scholars completing their PhDs are placed in different universities under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP), said Noor.

The HEC provides several incentives to these scholars, including a Rs0.5 million research grant to each returning scholar, he said.

“Hundreds of fresh PhDs from foreign universities are being inducted into universities across the country,” Noor said, “The number of PhD faculty in public universities has increased by almost 50 per cent…from 4,203 to 6,067 over the last two years.”

“Scholars are also being sent abroad to pursue studies in leading universities,” said Noor.

The number of PhD students enrolled in universities has increased by over 40 per cent [from 6,937 to 9,858 students] in the past year.

More than 28,122 students are registered for the MPhil/MS. The number of MPhil/MS students has increased by 65 per cent [from 16,960 to 28,122] over the past two years, he said.

The number of PhDs awarded has increased from 628 to 927 in the last three years. The number is expected to surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join universities, Murtaza said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.