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.
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.
"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: