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Science And Technology

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Science and Technology

September, 2012

The Indian science and technology space has been instrumental to bring social and economic changes. The country has not only endeavoured to upgrade traditional skills to make them relevant and competitive, but has also been on a spur to develop advanced technologies, which has eventually played a pivotal role in transforming the nation into a modern, industrialised society. 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.

India is also one of the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Certain developments that took place on this front in the recent past have been discussed hereafter.

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 (IP) 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.

Market Size

Thomson Reuters, one of the global agencies involved in gathering “Evidence” have been commissioned to undertake an India specific study. The “evidence” report has presented a large volume of data and trends in research outputs from India.

The analysis of the report indicated a growth rate of about 66 per cent between 2006-10 as compared to 2001-05. This amounts to average growth rate of about 13 per cent per year. The study also reveals that Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Engineering and Clinical medicine are the active areas of research outputs from India during the study period.

According to E&Y’s recent report ‘Beyond borders: Global biotechnology report – 2011’, India’s domestic biotech industry has crossed US$ 4 billion mark in fiscal 2011. The report highlighted vaccines, diagnostics & devices and personalised medicine as the major innovative growth areas for the domestic biotech sector.

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:

  • Crompton Greaves (CG) Ltd has acquired 100 per cent stake in Spain-based ZIV Aplicaciones Y Technologia, SL for an enterprise value of €150 million (US$ 196.42 million). ZIV deals in high value smart grid and automation solutions for industrial and utilities segments
  • An exclusive research facility for Zebrafish has been set up at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). The genome of Zebrafish is similar to the genome of human beings. This has prompted the lab to deal exclusively with this fish to investigate developmental biology in vertebrates, according to Dr Ch Mohan Rao, Director, CCMB
  • 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
  • Bosch Group will set up an independent research centre at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) with an investment of Rs 140 crore (US$ 25.94 million). The proposed investment will be from the German major’s global Bosch InterCampus 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