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Last Updated: April 21, 2014
Senator Kim Carr
Minister for Innovation, Australia
Updated: December, 2013
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.
India is one of the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Indian Science has come to be regarded as one of the most powerful instruments of growth and development, especially in the emerging scenario and competitive economy. In the wake of the recent developments and the new demands that are being placed on the science and technology system, it is necessary for us to embark on some major science projects which have relevance to national needs and which will also be relevant for tomorrow's technology.
In global terms, India is ninth in the number of scientific publications and 12th with regard to the patents filed. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of publications in the country is around 12±1 per cent. By 2020, the global share of publications is projected to be twice its current size and the number of papers in the top 1 per cent journals four-fold from what it is currently.
According to the Global Science Report of the UNESCO, India’s present ranking is commensurate with its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) of research and development (R&D) personnel. It is vital that FTE of R&D personnel increase by at least 66 per cent of its current strength in the next five years.
"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.
Some of the major investments in Indian science and technology sector are as follows:
The Department of Science & Technology plays a pivotal 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 Government of India is investing heavily in science and technology during the 12th Five Year Plan period and it has drawn up an ambitious agenda, according to Mr K Kasturirangan, Space scientist and a member of the Planning Commission.
The Government of India has taken some initiatives to further promote science and technology in the country:
The future of scientific research in India is very promising. Advances in scientific and technological research are having a significant impact in India's present and therefore, future, with the country being the primary source for many outsourcing companies. In addition, India has a large pool of professionals who are highly skilled and a valuable asset to the country.
India is also witnessing R&D growth in areas such as genetic modification, bio-energy sources, biochemistry, atomic energy, organ donation and biomedical science.
India is leading in many areas and evolving in others. Industrial R&D competitiveness must be encouraged more, as most of the effort goes into the field of space, defense, oceanography, and atomic energy.
Planning Board Member and former ISRO Chairman K Kasthurirangan has stated that India would double its spending from 0.9 per cent to almost 2 per cent on science and technology during the 12th Five Year Plan. The Government is focussing on development of education programs and scientific research in the next plan which would enhance the contribution of science and technology for the overall economic development. It would also focus on tie-ups between industries and research institutions, as well as universities.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0. 016 as on December 26, 2013
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Planning Commission website, Department of Science & Technology website
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.
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