Science and technology (S&T) is widely recognised as an important tool for fostering and strengthening the economic and social development of the country. India has made significant progress in various spheres of science and technology over the years and can now take pride in having a strong network of S&T institutions, trained manpower and an innovative knowledge base.
India is amongst 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.
India has the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world; 162 universities award 4,000 doctorates and 35,000 post-graduate degrees and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research runs 40 research laboratories which have made some significant achievements.
India has also made remarkable strides achieving 98 per cent indigenisation in launch vehicle technology and 60-70 per cent in satellite technology, according to Mr M Y S Prasad, Director, Sathish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota.
India ranks ninth globally in the number of scientific publications and 12th in the number of patents filed. The composite annual growth rate (CAGR) of Indian publications is around 12±1 per cent and India's global share has increased from 1.8 per cent in 2001 to 3.5 per cent in 2011. By 2020, the global share of publications must double and the number of papers in the top 1 per cent journals must quadruple from the current levels.
According to the Global Science Report of the UNESCO, India's current global ranking is commensurate with its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) of R&D personnel. It is imperative that the total number of FTE of R&D personnel will increase by at least 66 per cent of the present strength within the next five years.
Some of the recent developments in Indian science and technology sector are: