India to more than double S&T spending to 2 per of GDP

Mumbai: The government intends to more than double financial allocation for science and technology to two per cent of the GDP over the next five years, prime minister Manmohan Singh said.

"The UPA government intends to increase financial allocation for science and technology from less than one per cent of the GDP to two per cent of GDP," a report released by the prime minister said.

Recounting the 3-year performance of the government, the prime minister said that the government envisions development of an empowered science and technology base in the country by the year 2015.

The government, he said, has initiated steps to attract talent, rejuvenate university research, enable women scientists to re-enter careers in science, strengthen technology business incubation processes, promote excellence in research, engage private sector in R&D, create greater science awareness and develop scientific temper among the people.

The government has also set up a Science and Engineering Research Board to channel increased funding for research initiatives undertaken during the eleventh five-year plan.

"New schemes have been introduced for knowledge alliances in bilateral and consortium modes, setting up of incubation centres and permitting mobility of scientists between CSIR laboratories and private industry," the report said.

Both policy makers and the scientific community have been expressing concern over the falling standards of research and the inability of scientific establishments across the country to attract talent.