Research in Bangladesh and beyond -Abu Muaj and Khandoker Eshfat Adnan
A team of Bangladeshi scientists recently disclosed the lack of an enzyme – “Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP)” in human bodies may cause diabetes. On March 23 in 2022, the researchers in a press conference at BIRDEM Hospital in Dhaka claimed the enzyme IAP deficiency as a newly-detected cause for diabetes.
Madhu S Malo, assistant professor at Harvard University, and an advisor to the Bangladesh Diabetic Association who led the research, told the reporters during the press conference that they have come to know about the ‘IAP’ after conducting a study on 574 people aged between 30 and 60 years for the last five years. The ‘Bangladesh Medical and Research Council’ and ‘Education Ministry’ funded the study. The researchers said deficiency of the IAP enzyme is one of the leading causes of diabetes and people with ‘IPA’ deficiency have a 13.8 times higher risk of developing the disease.
Researchers from BIRDEM Hospital in Dhaka, Rajshahi University, Jahangirnagar University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, and Harvard University were involved in the study. Dr Malo was accompanied by the renowned endocrinology professor Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Professor Dr. Farooq Pathan and Professor Dr. Salekul Islam. The team was also assisted by Jagannath Malo of BADAS, Mehedi Hasan Rocky, Jinok Barman, Shamima Akhter Tinni, Swapan K. Burman, Tapas Sarkar, Abdul Mottalib and Naimul Islam Khan of BIRDEM, Jahangir Alam of Rajshahi University and Konkaraju Kaliannan of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University.
The aforesaid researchers are a handful of nearly 1700 Bangladeshi scientists when the whole world hosts 88 lakh scientists. A country of over 17 crore people has produced these scientists who are recognised internationally. G20 member countries ensured 88.8% of the world’s researchers, 90.36% of scientific publications, and 93.2% from total research spending. Globally in 2013, Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) was 1.48 trillion dollars Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
GERD growth counted 30.5% which is faster in respect to Global Economic Growth rate 20.1% of that period of 2007 to 2013. In this period commitments from R & D are shrinking in many countries, thanks to austerity budgets.
Leading academicians from Bangladesh
Some scientists and academicians from Bangladesh fared well while others didn’t. Sourcing from ‘Scopus’, Registered Trademark of ‘Elsevier B.V’, In this year 2021, the Bangladeshi scientists came up with best pronounced and research papers are – Tahmeed Ahmed of ‘International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh’, with 65 papers, Kawsar Ahmed of ‘Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University’ with 55 papers, Md. Sahab Uddin of ‘Pharmakon Neuroscience Research Network, Dhaka’, with 55 papers, Mohammed A Mamun of ‘Centre for Health Innovation, Networking, Training, Action and Research-Bangladesh, Dhaka’, with 40 papers, SM Yasir Arafat of ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’ with 35 papers; Bikash Kumar Paul of ‘Daffodil International University’, with 35 papers; Md Mahmud Alam of ‘Shahjalal University of Science and Technology’ with 30 papers; Firdausi Qadri of ‘International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh’, with 30 papers; M.J Chisti of ‘International centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh’ with 26 papers; Talha Bin Emran of BGC Trust University Bangladesh, Chittagong’, with 26 papers; Rashidul Haque of ‘International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh’, with 26 papers; Md Tanvir Kabir of ‘BRAC University’ with 24 papers; ARM Towfiqul Islam of ‘Begum Rokeya university’ with 22 papers; Akbar Hossain of ‘Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute’ with 21 papers.
Bangladesh is still in the group of countries which enjoy free research content because along with many other peers. One hundred forty-two local universities spend only 2% on research. In Global Knowledge Index 2021, Bangladesh booked 120th berth among 154 countries. It is such a country which needs lots of research degrees so that local researchers can produce text for local industries.
Scopus states qualitative assurance in docketing journals at its own database stay qualitative standardized but quantitative alone. Between 2014 to 2018 global spending on Research and Development (R&D) was growing faster than the economy as nations were focusing on green and digital transitions even though differences were present among them. In the past few years, however, a number of international organizations, including the African Union, World Health organization, The World Bank and a number of international organizations are calling for political and economic investment in Health Science Research (HSciR). In low-income countries, scientists who hold other jobs, research is considered as luxury against the backdrop of economic catastrophe.
Publish or perish
Some scientists of certain countries are publishing journal papers for the sake of publications or promotions in their teaching jobs. ‘Publish or perish’ remains their orientation. But until 2018, less than 1% of scientific articles published worldwide each year included at least one author based at an African institution. The Commission on Health R&D in a seminar in 1990 stated that strengthening research capacity in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) is “one of the most powerful, cost-effective and sustainable means of advancing health and development”.
1 researcher per 1000 labour force
In 2014, Latin America crossed the symbolic threshold of counting 1 researcher per 1000 labour force. As per a survey in 2019 survey time period of ‘Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’ South Korea is said to have the largest 15.88 people working in ‘Research’ or ‘Science’ field among every 1000 people working in full time or equivalent mode among amounted 31 countries taking Sweden as second with 15.17 individuals and Mexico with 1.06 individuals as 31st position keeping close contribution to Romania’s 2.01 people, Latvia’s 4.04 people, and Turkey’s 4.88 people in per 1000. Between 2014 to 2018 in respect to global population growth 4.6%, researchers’ pool grew 3 times faster ‘13.7%’. By 2018 the number of researchers per million inhabitants grew 9.9% in this period. China in 2018 accounted for a phenomenal growth of 21.1% in global researchers’ number behind just only to the European Union’s global researchers counts 23.5% which together are over a quarter of the casted growth and USA contributed with 16.2% reported in 2017.
In 2012, with scoring 8,337 researchers in per million inhabitants, Israeli density in researchers were highest in the world that was in 2012, more than double to the density of the USA’s 3,984 and to the United Kingdom 4,108 in 2013 as high as Republic of Korea with 6,533, and Japan with 5,195 in the same year.
SCImago Institutions Rankings
‘SCImago Institutions Rankings’ preserves number of 67226 documents, total ‘Citable documents’ 62394, ‘Citations’ 739413, ’Self citations’ 125364, ‘Citations per documents’ 11, ‘H Index’ 225, in the slot of Bangladesh in ‘Asiatic Regionals’ among 240 countries of Northern America, Pacific Region, Africa, Africa/Middle East, Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Northern America, Asiatic Region in their country rank from the year 1996 to 2020.
Once here it is vital certainty among, the aspiration and true cherish of the nations, country needs research for life. In reality, once science is embedded in life ranging from people’s general choice of masking in need, surrounding resources, from general production to onward, core decision making, in the economy; relationship with science, citizens, societies are abstract. Questioning transformation that is adequately being taken in account while transforming from living with natural challenges to scientific means of life in respect to the formation of life is to surviving transformations until life while transformational disasters from social takeovers are suspect. Hence with drift extract aspiration perhaps ability in building scientific services flow is the only cherish to reach regardless of knowledge sharing, obtaining technical aids.
Is access to scientific literature free?
Do researchers identify free access to the scientific literature as an identifiable distinct context. Publishers are charging additional fees in accessing the free research articles. This trend is most likely to dissuade researchers from contributing scientific and scholarly articles to journals, stunting the freedom of intellectuals and growth of economies.
Top int’l and local research fund providers
For last year 2021, the top research fund provider international organizations to us were- ‘Japan Society for Promotion and Science’; ‘National Natural Science Foundation of China’; ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’; ‘The National Institute of Health, USA’; ‘Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan’; ‘United States Agency for International Development’; ‘National Research Foundation of Korea’; ‘Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia Costa Rica’; ‘King Abdulaziz University’; ‘Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia’; ‘Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’; ‘Wellcome Trust’; ‘World Bank Group’; ‘Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University’; ‘National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia’. Most Bangladeshi research fund providers are- ‘Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh’; ‘Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’; ‘United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’; ‘Ministry of Education Government of Bangladesh’; ‘Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’; ‘Khulna University’; ‘University Grants Commission of Bangladesh’; ‘Shahjalal University of Science and Technology’; ‘Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute’ and ‘University of Dhaka’.
University of Dhaka (DU) spent Tk 6.61 crore on research in 2020 while private university Brac alone spent Tk55.23 crore. Among the top public universities, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology spent only Tk 4 crore while its private peer North South University earmarked Tk 6.17 crore for research. The private universities spent Tk111 crore out of Tk 3297 crore while public universities spent Tk73 crore out of Tk 5,454 crore. With this poor performance, the DU is making happy those who didn’t want a seat of higher education to flourish in Dhaka. The higher-caste Hindus based in India opposed the establishment of DU in the eastern Bengal so that children — mostly Muslim — don’t get higher education.