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Science And Technology

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Science and Technology

June, 2012

Introduction

India is among the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Indian Science is one of the most powerful segments for growth and development, especially in the emerging scenario and competitive economy. With an annual growth of over 12 per cent in the number of scientific publications in Science Citation Indexed (SCI) journals during the last three years, India posted a significant improvement in its global ranking. Scientific knowledge and expertise, innovation, high technology, industrial infrastructure and skilled workforce are the key factors that have driven the progress of the country to a major extent.

The Indian space technology has come a long way in terms of infrastructure as well as investments. India is the fifth largest consumer of energy globally and expected to become the world's third biggest energy consumer by 2030, leaving Japan and Russia behind. India has been ranked as the third best investment destination in renewable energy sector, next only to China and the US, as per a recent report by Ernst & Young (E&Y). Research and development (R&D) is an inseparable part of science and technology, with India fast emerging as the global R&D hub. Presence of world class institutions, a robust intellectual property regime and a rich talent pool of technical manpower available at a very competitive cost are major factors that are making India a viable destination for global researchers.

The Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, plays a key role in promotion of science & technology in the country. The department has wide ranging activities ranging from promoting high-end basic R&D of cutting edge technologies on one hand to service the technological requirements of the common man through development of appropriate skills and technologies on the other.

The year 2011-12 is a land mark year for the Department of Science & Technology. It earmarked the completion of 40 years of service by the Department to the Science & Technology sector since its establishment.

Investments

"We need a new wave of investment from the private sector so that young people will be encouraged to seek a career in science," according to Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India.

R&D services excluding basic research and setting of R&D/academic institutions which would award degrees/diplomas/certificates would be allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investments (FDI) under the automatic route.

Some of the major investments in the sector are as follows:

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German Research Foundation, has expanded its India presence with the formal launch of a Centre in Hyderabad. It is collaborating with the Department of Science & Technology on about 40 bilateral research projects in science and engineering currently, said Dr Torsten Fischer, Director, DFG India
  • The Union Ministry of Science & Technology has selected three consortia that will receive a grant of Rs 125 crore (US$ 22.3 million) from the Centre. The funding will be over five years, under the Indo-US Joint Clean Energy R&D Centre
  • The Department of Science & Technology-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) signed a record of 50 commercialisation agreements. A large number of deals involved technologies related to energy and environmental initiatives
  • Bosch Group will set up an independent research centre at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) with an investment of Rs 140 crore (US$ 25 million). The proposed investment will be from the German major's global Bosch Inter Campus Programme
  • Intel Future Scientist Programme developed in India, aims to sustain the innovative streak in students, has been launched by the global chip maker. The programme empowers teachers to transform science and math education in their classrooms and aims to reach about 50,000 girls to help them develop scientific skills and expertise