New science and technology policy aims at doubling R&D spend news
03 January 2013

The new science, technology and innovation (STI) policy, unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, seeks to focus on sustainable use of science, technology and innovation for faster, sustainable and inclusive development of the people.

The new STI Policy, announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the 100th Science Congress in Kolkata today, aims to bring all the benefits of science, technology and innovation for sustainable national development and more inclusive growth.

The new policy seeks to raise gross expenditure on research and development to 2 per cent of the country's gross domestic produce (GDP) from the present 1 per cent GDP, in this decade, by encouraging enhanced private sector contribution.

The policy also seeks to encourage increased spending on research and development by incentivising private sector participation in R & D, technology and innovation activities.

Simultaneously, the number of people engaged on a full time equivalent basis in research and development (R&D) in India is expected to go up by at least 66 per cent of the present strength in the next five years.

The new policy seeks to achieve this by increasing accessibility, availability and affordability of innovations, especially for women, differently-abled and disadvantaged sections of society.

The policy envisages wide ranging mechanisms to be deployed to realise the policy aspirations, which include:

  • Promoting the spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society;
  • Enhancing skill for applications of science among the young from all social strata;
  • Making careers in science, research and innovation attractive enough to attract talented and bright minds;
  • Empowering women through appropriate STI inputs and investments;
  • Facilitating private sector investment in R&D centres in India and overseas;
  • Promoting establishment of large R&D facilities in PPP mode with provisions for benefits sharing;
  • Permitting multi stakeholders' participation in the Indian R&D system;
  • Treating R&D in the private sector at par with public institutions for availing public funds;
  • Benchmarking of R&D funding mechanisms and patterns globally;
  • Aligning venture capital and inclusion innovation fund systems;
  • Sharing IPRs between inventors and investors;
  • Modifying IPR policy to provide for marching rights for social good when supported by public funds and for co-sharing IPRs generated under PPP;
  • Providing incentives for commercialistion of innovations with focus on green manufacturing;
  • Closing gaps in the translation of new findings at the grassroots and the commercial space;
  • Forging strategic partnerships and alliances with other nations through both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in science, technology and innovation; and
  • Triggering an ecosystem with right attitudes, mindset, values and governance systems of publicly funded institutions engaged in STI activities so as to recognise  and reward performance, which create wealth from S&T, derived knowledge.

Unveiling the new STI Policy, the prime minister sought to send a signal to the Indian scientific community, both in the private and public domain, that science, technology and innovation should focus on both STI for people and people for STI.

The policy also seeks to create an ecosystem that would help channalise innovative abilities by leveraging partnerships among diverse stakeholders and by encouraging and facilitating enterprises to invest in innovations.

It also seeks to bring in mechanisms for achieving gender parity in STI activities and gaining global competitiveness in select technological areas through international cooperation and alliances.

The policy goal is to accelerate the pace of discovery, diffusion and delivery of science led solutions for serving the aspirational goals of India for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth, the prime minister said.

A strong and viable science, research and innovation system for high technology led path for India (SRISHTI) are the goal for the STI policy.

The STI Policy 2013 aims at:

  • Promoting the spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society;
  • Enhancing skills for application of science among the young from all social sectors;
  • Making careers in science, research and innovation attractive for talented and bright minds;
  • Establishing world class infrastructure for R&D for gaining leadership in select frontier areas of science;
  • Positioning India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020;
  • Doubling India's share of global scientific publications to over 7 per cent and quadrupling the number of papers in top 1 per cent journals from the current levels;
  • Linking science research and innovation system with inclusive economic growth and setting priorities of excellence and relevance;
  • Creating an environment for enhanced private sector participation in R &D;
  • Enabling conversion of R & D output with societal and commercial applications and establishing new PPP structures;
  • Seeking S&T-based high risk innovation through new mechanisms;
  • Fostering resource optimised cost-effective innovation across size and technology domains;
  • Triggering new mindset and value systems to recognise, respect and reward performances which create wealth from S&T derived knowledge; and
  • Creating a robust national innovation system.

The department of science and technology will establish a policy implementation group to expeditiously operationalise the proposals within the next two years.

The new policy is an extension of the Technology Policy Statement (TPS) made by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the 1983 Science Congress. The late prime minister had sought to focus on the need to attain technological competence and self-reliance. While some of the policy directives have been implemented, much remained to be accomplished in terms of integrating programmes of socio-economic sectors with the national R&D system and the creation of a national innovation system.

India has declared 2010-20 as the `Decade of Innovation.' India's demographics have changed significantly too. The science, technology and innovation (STI) policy 2013 has already been approved by the union cabinet.

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New science and technology policy aims at doubling R&D spend