India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world.$Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising that it is a key element of economic growth. India is among the topmost countries in the world in the field of scientific research, positioned as one of the top five nations in the field of space exploration. The country has regularly undertaken space missions, including missions to the moon and the famed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Currently@, 27 satellites including 11 that facilitate the communication network to the country are operational, establishing India’s progress in the space technology domain. India is likely to take a leading role in launching satellites for the SAARC nations, generating revenue by offering its space facilities for use to other countries.
India is among the world’s top 10 nations in the number of scientific publications. Position-wise, it is ranked 17th in the number of citations received and 34th in the number of citations per paper across the field of science and technology (among nations publishing 50,000 or more papers). The country is ranked ninth globally in the number of scientific publications and 12th in the number of patents filed.
India's analytics industry is expected to touch US$ 16 billion by 2025 from the current US$ 2 billion, as per the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).
With support from the government, considerable investment and development has incurred 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. Recently, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Unit-1 (KKNPP 1) with 1,000 MW capacity was commissioned, while the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Unit-2 (KKNPP-2) with 1,000 MW capacity is under commissioning.
Some of the recent developments in the field of science and technology in India are as follows
Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State with Independent Charge for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, outlined plans of setting up a committee to examine and expeditiously implement measures to improve India’s innovation landscape.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, outlined Government of India's plans to pursue a green path to growth by doubling investment in clean energy research to US$ 145 million in the next five years from current investment of US$ 72 million.
The Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare plans to set up a three-tier national network of Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) under which 160 VRDLs will be set up with capability to handle around 30-35 viruses of public health importance.
The central government plans to soon institute a nation-wide consultation process with a view to develop the first publicly accessible Science and Technology policy. The policy ‘Vision S&T 2020’ would articulate the country’s future towards self-reliance and technological independence in the 21st century.
The Union Cabinet gave "in principle" clearance for the location of a Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) facility in India which will be the third in the world and will be set up and managed by the IndIGO Consortium (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations).
The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India has become only the second country outside of Europe to join the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), which consists of 1,700 eminent scientists and 84 Nobel laureates, and aims to encourage research in the field of life sciences.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR) to use spatial technology such as satellite data to monitor and manage national highways.
National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Culture, is engaged in the establishment of Science Centres across the country. NCSM is developing a Science City at Guwahati, Assam, which would be handed over to the Government of Assam for future operations and maintenance. The organisation has received proposals from various state governments for setting up of such Science Cities. NCSM has undertaken the Science Centres/Cities projects in a phased manner depending on the availability of resources, project handling capacity of NCSM, and existing level of science centre activities in a particular state.
India is aggressively working towards establishing itself as a leader in industrialisation and technological development. Significant developments in the nuclear energy sector are likely as India looks to expand its nuclear capacity. Moreover, nanotechnology is expected to transform the Indian pharmaceutical industry. The agriculture sector is also likely to undergo 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, aspires to position India among the world’s top five scientific powers.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0149 as on September 21, 2016
References – Media reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2016-17
Notes - @ - As per information provided in Lok Sabha, $- , as per Ernst & Young's (EYs) Global Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB) - Technology report, * - as per The Times Higher Education of London.