Inter-State Collaborations in Science and Technology
A scientometric Analysis of Parliament Questions
by Nirmal Haritash
India is a Parliamentary democracy. It comprises of two chambers Lok-Sabha;the
House of People, and Rajya-Sabha;the Council of States.The Parliament
is represented by all kinds of political ideologies ranging from rightist,
centralist to leftist. However,in the course of time various regional
and local state parties have come up some of which have joined the national
parties at the center thereby making the Parliament better representative
of the once neglected remote regions of the country.This is one of the
major reasons for the predominant state-level issues in the overall issues
discussed in the Parliament.
The 'Question-Hour' in the Parliament forms a special component of the
proceedings of the Parliament in making inquiries from the government
about the implementation of the policies and programmes and to suggest
ways and means to improve the performance of the government. In the course
of time this forum of Parliament has gained considerable importance, this
is evident from the fact that the total number of questions asked by the
Members of Parliament (MPs) during the Question-Hour have increased progressively.
Taking S&T questions raised during the Question-Hour as indicators of
S&T activity being understood and performed at different levels in the
Parliamentary democracy, the S&T questions raised during the Question-Hour
have been content analyzed. A comparative trend analysis of data for the
period 1951-1992 reveals an increase in the growing concern of the Parliament
for science. This has been exhibited through an increase in the proportion
of S&T policy related questions from about 5% to about 12% in the overall
questions raised in the Parliament. Along with the growth of S&T related
issues in the Parliament there has been a shift in the sectoral priorities
for the development of science for its impact on society.
The study also reveals that almost all states have shown interest in the
issues of science. However,there is an unequal distribution of concern
for science among MPs belonging to different states.The science concern
index computed for different states.reveals that states like Rajasthan,Orissa,Maharashtra,Himachal
Pradesh have high science concern index of about 8Ques./MPs which is above
the average mean value. Thus revealing high level of interest of MPs belonging
to these states in the issues of science.The science concern index of
states like Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is also above the mean value
of 4.63 Ques/MP. whereas, the other states viz.Assam, Haryana, Punjab
etc.have low science concern index. Low level of interest of MPs belonging
to these states may be due to their more interest in other areas. (Table
||Total S&T Ques.
||Strength in Parliament
||Science Concern Index
||Jammu & Kashmir
Table 1: Concern of different states on science
The structure of the data apart from the above exhibits
that the Parliamentary concerns for science is not always limited to the
party ideologies and is not only restricted to the geographic boundaries.
Since, many of the S&T policy questions raised in the Parliament cut across
party line while others cross geographic boundaries. As, these S&T questions
are raised by joining together of MPs belonging to different political
parties and/or by the MPs from different regions and states. Co-sponsorship
of questions on a particular topic implies more widespreaded concern than
questions raised by a single Member of Parliament.
Our present concern is to study the structure of relationship among different
states on the policy issues of science. In this context the study examines
Dynamics of co-sponsorship among S&T related questions wherein MPs belonging
to different states collaborate in raising issues of wider national concern.
The extent and nature of co-sponsorship along with the propensity among
different states for collaboration on S&T issues. The very structure of
co-sponsorship on S&T policy issues among different states and the position
of various states in the collaboration network.
A content analysis of Parliament questions was performed to classify the
questions into different categories and to depict the widespreadness of
concern for science in Parliament in:i) assigning sectoral priorities
to science in the fulfillment of national goals ii) and their perception
of the way science be managed in the country, in the present and future
context. It involved quantitative and qualitative categorization of S&T
issues through classification schemes adopted for different aspects of
MPs participation in S&T issues along with the projection of socio-economic
and cultural background of MPs concern and interest in S&T policy issues.
A database of Parliament Questions on S&T related issues has been set
up which covers years from 1951 to 1992. The database comprises more than
10,000 questions classified into 15 socio-economic categories and 8 policy
categories. The present study is based on the sub-set of data for the
10th Lok Sabha , year 1992.
Measurement of Co-Sponsorship
In the study of co-sponsorship is defined in terms of S&T questions raised
by Members from different states. These co-sponsorships are used to identify
relationships by means of state of the members. Here, the principle assumption
used is that, raising of a co-sponsorship question is a manifestation
of a fairly active linkage between the Members of different states across
their geographic boundaries through exchange of information and opinions
in arriving at common consensus on important issues of national concern.
An important, but controversial issue in co-sponsorship analysis is how
to assign credit of a co-sponsored question. Since the objective of the
study is not co-sponsorship perse, but the pattern of relationship between
different states. We have adopted the 'whole-count' method in preference
to fractional counting.,
The extent and nature of co-sponsorship between different states has been
examined based on the proportion of co-sponsored inter-state questions
in the context of total S&T questions raised in the Parliament. The network
of collaboration links of states is created in order to study the following:
The structure of the network of linkages among the states. How are the
various states linked among themselves and which state collaborates with
whom and to what extent on S&T policy issues?
Which are the states that fall in the center of network and which are
the states that fall in the periphery of the network ?
The following measures have been used to characterize the co-operation
network of different states on the policy issues of science.
INTER-STATE COLLABORATION INDEX: Inter-state collaboration index for each
state is calculated to examine the extent of inter-state links in the
overall linkage pattern of the states.
E-I INDEX: E-I INDEX for each state is computed to
identify whether co-sponsorship varies with the size of the state.The
status of co-sponsorship of states can be judged by two indicators: External
Status and Internal Status. External Status indicates the preference given
to the members of other states for collaboration. The Internal Status
indicates preference given to the in-house state members for raising a
particular issue. Based on the number of such instances the total external
and internal linkages can be calculated. The E-I Index (Krackhardt and
Stern1988) compares the number of internal and external links within the
groups in the network.
AFFINITY- INDEX: AFFINITY-INDEX for each state is calculated
to measure the affinity towards other co-sponsoring states on S&T issues.Affinity
index is a measure of collaboration between a given state A and the other
state B compared to the total collaboration of the given state A with
all the other states on S&T issues in a given period of time. AFI is therefore
the number of links between A and B divided by the total links A has with
the rest of the states on S&T issues during a given period of time.It
indicates the scientific affinity of A towards B(A(B).
Affinity index has been used to find how A is situated
in B's affinity index to measure to and fro affinity index of different
IDENTIFYING POSITION OF STATES IN THE CO-SPONSORSHIP NETWORK : With a
view to give concrete shape to the inter-state linkages and to quantify
the position of different states in the network we have used the software
UCINET IV. The analysis for locating the position of different states
in the structure of network comprised the following steps:
- Normalization of valued adjency matrix for removing the effect of
size of states.
- Dichotomization of data on and above mean value for the representation
of strong linkages among states and to remove the effect of weak linkages
below the average mean value.
The data on and above the mean value has been represented through graph
locating position of states in the overall network. Whereas,the distance
between different states in the network has been determined through the"
Krack Plot 3.0 was used to aesthetically improve the map yielded by the
Analysis and Results
General Overview of Data
Table 2 presents an overview of the data on the number of questions raised
by the MPs belonging to different states and co-operation links of S&T
questions raised by joining together of MPs belonging to different states.
The distribution of S&T questions and inter-state co-operation links between
states is highly skewed.The data exhibits that five states viz. Maharashtra,
M.P, U.P, Bihar,Andhra Pradesh account for about 55% of all S&T questions
raised in the Parliament and 47% of co-sponsored questions of all the
states taken together.
Maharashtra though ranks highest on the count of S&T related questions
and the co-sponsorship questions raised in the Parliament ranks low on
the inter-state linkages count. Uttar Pradesh though ranks second on the
count of S&T related issues rais4ed in the Parliament, ranks fourth on
the inter-state co-operation.(Table 2)
||Total S&T Ques.
||Jammu & Kashmir
Table 2: State-wise distribution of co-sponsored questions
and inter-state links among different states on S&T policy issues in parliament
The analysis reveals that almost all states have collaborated
with other states on S&T policy related issues. However, there are significant
differences in the nature and extent of collaboration links between different
states. The Inter-State collaboration index computed for different states
exhibits that the smaller states like Jammu& Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana
have high inter-state collaboration index which is above the average mean
value of 108.12 whereas the inter-state collaboration index of bigger
states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka, is below the mean
value. The value of E-I index computed for different states for examining
the proportion of external and internal linkages in the collaboration
network of states reveals that the bigger states like Madhya Pradesh,
Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh have low E-I Index revealing
more internal linkages than the linkages with other states. Whereas, the
smaller states like Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and other small states exhibit
high level of E-I index which is quiet above the average mean value of
-1.57.The analysis thus exhibits that the size of the state has it's influence
on the inter-state collaborations on the issues of science.
State to state affinity among different states reveals
that propensity between two states depends upon the size of the state,
its geographic location and its status in terms of the socio-economic
developments achieved. The big states have more affinity towards other
big states and very less affinity towards small states. Whereas, the smaller
states have more affinity towards bigger states. The affinity of states
belonging to the geographic locations based on the hindi speaking states
of north reveals that states like Haryana,Rajasthan,Uttar Pradesh Delhi
have stronger collaborative links whereas, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh have
comparatively weak linkages. Propensity of southern states on S&T related
issues reveal that there are weak linkages between Kerala, and Tamil Nadu
whereas, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka have strong affinity towards each other
and with Kerala and Tamil Nadu individually.
The structure of multivariate relationship of states
analysed through multidimensional scaling reveals that a few states like
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh have strong collaborative
links as they occupy central position in the collaboration network. These
states have more diverse linkages with other states whereas, states like
Punjab, Haryana, Jammu&Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala occupy peripheral
position in the network revealing weak linkages with other states.
The data and analysis presented in the study provides useful insight into
the very structure of relationship among different states in dealing with
the important issues of science. The variations in the pattern of collaborative
linkages among different states reflects upon the variations in the interests
among different pressure groups in the Parliament about the way science
should perform; is an important feed back to the Government in deciding
future S&T policy of the country.
to Papers List