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India ranked 52nd in the Global Innovation Index (GII), 2019 and 50th on gross expenditure in R&D.

Science and Technology Development in India

    Last updated on Oct, 21 2020

Indian Science and R&D Industry Report  (Size: 913.66 KB ) (September, 2020)

Introduction

India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Department of Science and Technology, has reiterated that technology is a strong priority area for the Government, and it aims to make people science centric. Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising that it is a key element for 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 for space exploration. The country has regularly undertaken space missions, including missions to the moon and the famed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

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.

Market size

In September 2020, India moved four places up to reach the 48th rank and made to the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII) for the first time. India ranks in the top 15 for indicators such as ICT (Information and Communication Technology) services exports, graduates in science and engineering, government online services and R&D-intensive global companies.

India ranked 52 in Global Innovation Index (GII)-2019. It ranked 50 in gross expenditure on R&D segment with 0.6 per cent of GDP spending.

The Government is extensively promoting research parks technology business incubators (TBIs) and (RPs), which would promote the innovative ideas till they become commercial ventures.

The engineering R&D and product development market in India is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10.65 per cent to reach US$ 42 billion by FY22 from US$ 31 billion in FY19. By 2022, R&D expenditure is targeted to reach at least 2 per cent of the country’s GDP.

India's National Artificial Intelligence Strategy prepared by NITI Aayog outlined a way forward to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in different fields. Accenture offers a framework for assessing the economic effect of AI for selected G20 countries in its latest AI research studies and forecast that AI will raise India's annual growth rate by 1.3% points by 2035.

Developments/Investments:

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.

Recent developments

Some of the recent developments in the field of science and technology in India are as follows:

  • India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched space technology incubation centre in Tripura, Agartala. ISRO has planned 36 missions including satellites and launch vehicles in FY21.
  • In September 2020, India successfully flight-tested its hypersonic technology demonstration vehicle (HSTDV) and joined the list of few countries having capabilities for next-generation hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • In September 2020, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology developed a technology to safely manage/handle the infected respiratory secretions via canister bags containing an effective disinfectant to safeguard health workers who are at high risk due to contagious diseases such as influenza, COVID-19 and tuberculosis (TB).
  • In September 2020, Tech Mahindra announced a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build Blockchain technology solutions across verticals, including telecom, healthcare, aviation and aerospace.
  • In September 2020, according to the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, a team of 11 members (India-US scientists) will be collaborating to propose new innovative ideas to address coronavirus challenges.
  • In September 2020, the US-India-Israel announced to collaborate on a trilateral partnership focused on developing a next-gen technology (5G communication network).
  • In August 2020, Raman Research Institute, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, found a new way for quantum state estimation, ‘Quantum State Interferography’, to make crucial quantum operations simpler.

The Union Budget 2020–21

  • Under the Union Budget 2020–21, the Government announced the largest ever allocation of Rs 6,302 crore (US$ 901.70 million) to the Ministry of Science and Technology. It has also allocated Rs 2,787 crore (US$ 398.77 million) to the Department of Biotechnology and Rs 5,385 crore (US$ 770.50 million) to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The Road Ahead

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 India’s pharmaceutical industry. The agriculture sector is also likely to undergo a major revamp with the government investing heavily for a technology-driven Green Revolution. 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. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch its first Indian human mission by 2022.

Note: Conversion rate used for September 2020 is Rs 1 = US$ 0.01370

References – Media reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2019–20

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

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