Science and Technology
India has positioned itself as among the top five nations in the field of space exploration.

Science And Technology in India

Latest update: March, 2015

Total scientific publications in India

India ranks ninth globally in terms of the number of scientific publications.

Total scientific publications in India

Patents filed in India

Patent filings have gone up from 28,940 during 2006–07 to 43,674 during 2012–13.

Patents filed in India

Number of researchers in India

Number of researchers in India stood at 192,819 during 2009.

Number of researchers in India

Total number of MNC R&D centres in India

India is a base for 718 MNCs with over 870 research centres.

Total number of MNC R&D centres in India

Updated: March, 2015

Introduction

Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising the fact that it is a key element of economic growth. Significantly, India is among the topmost countries in the world in the field of scientific research and has positioned itself as among the top five nations in the field of space exploration. It has been regularly undertaking space missions to the moon and the famed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), on October 16, 2014, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This is the twenty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

Recently, official information to the Lok Sabha stated that 27 satellites including 11 that facilitate the communication network to the country are operational, while one more is to be launched in March 2015. India is proving itself time and again and successfully marking itself in growth in space technology. India is to take a leading role in launching satellites for the SAARC nations. Revenue is being generated for space facilities of the nation to be used by other countries.

There has also been a lot of focus on encouraging the scientific temperament in India’s youth with the setting up of numerous technical universities and institutes, both in the private and the government sector. India presently has 16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 30 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), 162 universities awarding about 4,000 doctorates and 35,000 post-graduate degrees, and about 40 research laboratories run by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) all over the country.

Market size

India is among the top 10 nations in the world in the number of scientific publications. Position-wise, it is ranked 17th in the number of citations received and 34th in the number of citations per paper across the science and technology field (among nations publishing 50,000 or more papers). It is also ranked ninth globally in the number of scientific publications and 12th in the number of patents filed.

Backed by the government, there has been a lot of investments and developments in different sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, space research and nuclear power through scientific research. For instance, India is gradually becoming self-reliant in nuclear technology through the commercial success of the indigenous reactors like the Dhruva reactor at BARC, which achieved criticality on August 8, 1985.

Investments

According to the latest available statistics by the Government of India, the Indian investment in science and technology in terms of Gross expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) during 2011-12 has been US$ 36.2 billion Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

India invested 0.88 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) towards Research and Development (R&D) whereas USA and South Korea spent 2.76 per cent and 4.04 per cent respectively during 2011-12.

  • A project to build India’s largest underground laboratory for advanced research into the smallest particle known to man has been cleared by the prime minister’s office. It’s a move that could make India a major nuclear physics research hub.
  • Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has finalised contracts to launch 16 satellites of six countries in the coming years.
  • One of Japan's biggest business groups has expanded its engagement with India, which could be a sign of a new momentum in the Indo-Japanese business ties. MOL, world's largest ship operator with over 900 ships, has in partnership with an Indian company setup a cutting edge simulation centre for training seafarers, and said it would step up the number of Indians recruited for its merchant navy.
  • The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) will aim to study the properties of atmospheric neutrinos, which are subatomic particles produced by the decay of radioactive elements.MOL, world's largest ship operator with over 900 ships, has in partnership with an Indian company setup a cutting edge simulation centre for training seafarers, and said it would step up the number of Indians recruited for its merchant navy. The initiative named marine advanced simulation training (MAST) centre is among the most advanced simulation centres in the world, and would be part of the ongoing efforts of MOL and its partner Synergy Group, a ship management firm with over 100 vessels under its management and MOL's partner in the initiative, to step up recruitment of seafarers from India.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, has launched a joint Indo-Canadian science programme focusing on clean water technologies. Dr Jitendra Singh said that the new programme will be pursued through a joint collaboration between the Department of Science & Technology under his ministry and the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada.

Government Initiatives

The Narendra Modi government will soon institute a nation-wide consultation process with a view to developing the first, publicly accessible Science and Technology policy. It will be called “Vision S&T 2020” and articulate the road ahead towards self-reliance and technological independence in the 21st Century.

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organization under the Union Ministry of Culture is engaged in establishment of Science Centres throughout the country. NCSM is developing a Science City at Guwahati, Assam which will subsequently be handed over to the Govt. of Assam for future operation and maintenance. Proposals from various state governments have also been received for setting up of Science Cities. The Science Centres/Cities projects are taken up by NCSM in a phased manner depending upon the availability of resources, project handling capacity of NCSM and the existing level of science centre activities in that particular State.

In the Union Budget 2014-15, the following initiatives in the field of science and technology were taken:

  • Setting aside an amount of Rs 100 crore (US$ 16.08 million) for ‘Agri-tech Infrastructure Fund’
  • Identification of technology driven second Green Revolution with focus on higher productivity including ‘Protein revolution’ as a major area of focus
  • Allocation of Rs 100 crore (US$ 16.08 million) for a new scheme ‘Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology

Some of the other government initiatives taken in the recent past are as follows:

  • The Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources are collaborating through joint expert committee meetings, inter-ministerial consultations and delegations to articulate research and development priorities to come up with energy efficient and environment friendly technologies. Three multi institutional networked virtual Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centres on solar energy, second generation biofuels and building energy efficiency have been set up. The research carried so far has resulted in 72 publications in peer reviewed journals and a patent has also been filed.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, has launched a joint Indo-Canadian science programme focusing on clean water technologies.
  • India's leading research centers are seeking more scientific partnerships for the country's remote areas, particularly the northeastern states while working with the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA). CEFIPRA is India's first and France's one and only bilateral organization, committed towards the promotion of the collaboration between the scientific communities of the two countries across the knowledge innovation chain. The centre was established in 1987 and it receives financial support from the department of science and technology under the central government, and the foreign affairs ministry of France.

Road Ahead

India is aggressively working towards establishing itself as a leader in industrialisation and technological development. There will likely be significant developments in the nuclear energy sector as India looks to increase its nuclear capacity. There is also an indication that nanotechnology will change the face of the Indian pharmaceutical industry. The agriculture sector will also see a major revamp with the government investing heavily for the technology driven Green Revolution. The Government of India, through the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy-2013, among other things, also aspires to position India among the top five scientific powers in the world.

Exchange rate used INR 1= 0.016 as on March 24, 2015

References: Ministry of Finance, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports and Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Department of Science and Technology

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

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