Only 10 scientists from India featured in the world’s ‘highly-cited’ researchers list compared to 482 from China


  • India accounts for only 0.25% of the 4,000 highly-cited scientists across the globe, according to Clarivate Analytics.
  • The number has doubled since 2017 but that’s only because the company added an additional category to include ‘cross field’ researchers.
  • India’s neighboring country, China, stands at the third position with nearly 482 scientists.
With only 10 Indian scientists featuring in the list of 4,000 highly-cited researchers across the globe, the country lags far behind China in new contributions towards science and innovation, said a recent report by Clarivate Analytics — a company that names people with multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year.

Interestingly, most of the science experts listed do not come from highly ranked institutes in India that are always creating buzz for their scientific innovation. However, a professor from each IIT-Kanpur, IIT Madras, JNU, and NIT-Bhopal are on the global list.

Meanwhile, China is among the top three countries with 482 science experts. India couldn’t even make it up to the top 10 countries.

Sweden (53%), Austria (53%), Singapore (47%), Denmark (47%), China (43%) and South Korea (42%) are among the nations that have 40% of their Highly Cited Researchers selected in the cross-field category.

India and China used to be on the same page in terms of contribution about 15 years ago but now China accounts for nearly 16%

This could be considered a victory for India since the number of scientists on the list has doubled since 2017. But Dinesh Mohan, one of the scientists on the list, says that’s only because the report includes an additional category of ‘cross field’ researchers.

The list highlights the need to improve the research ecosystem in India and deal with problems like predatory journals. According to experts, Indian academicians lack focus on quality research.

Ashok Pandey, a researcher featured on the list, claims that poor representation in science is a matter of national concern and need to be addressed by lawmakers, government and other respective stakeholders.

Analysts add that India has a negligible representation in the world’s highly cited researchers primarily because the nature of research is theoretical.

Here are the Indian figures featured on the list -

Alok Mittal
  • Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology
  • Specialisation: Environmental Science, Water Treatment and Chemistry.
Ashok Pandey
  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)
  • Specialisation: Microbial and Enzyme Technology, Food and Fermentation Technology Industrial Biotechnology
Rajeev Varshney
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
  • Specialisation: Applied Genomics, Molecular breeding, Crop Biotechnology.
Jyoti Mittal
  • Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology
  • Specialisation: Environmental Science, Water Treatment and Surface Chemistry.
Dinesh Mohan
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Specialisation: Water and wastewater monitoring, biofuels products.
Avinash Kumar Agarwal
  • IIT-Kanpur
  • Specialisation: bio butanol, biodiesel development, Engine combustion investigation.
Rajnish Kumar
  • IIT-Madras
  • Specialisation: Carbon dioxide capture, methane and hydrogen storage, and Gas hydrates.
Sanjeeb Sahbo
  • Institute of Life Sciences,
  • Specialisation: Use of nanotechnology in cancer drug delivery, especially cancer cure
CNR Rao: Is Bharat Ratna
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
  • Specialisation: Structural Chemistry, solid state, and material chemistry
Sakthivel Rathinaswamy
  • Bharathiar University
  • Specialisation: Applied Mathematics (control theory)
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