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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 Sep, 4 2020

Indian Science and R&D Industry Report  (Size: 796.48 KB ) (August, 2020)


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

India ranked 6 on scientific publications and 10 on patents, which included only resident applications. India ranked 13 at the Nature Index in 2017, based on counts of high-quality research outputs in natural sciences. India stood third in the number of science and engineering publications in the world.

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. India is world’s third largest technology start-up hub with incorporation of 1,000 new companies in 2017.

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.


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.
  • India's space business will witness tremendous growth in the next five years on the back of technology advancement, global space business opportunity and a sharp rise in ISRO’s satellite launch capabilities.

Investment Scenario

  • GridRaster Inc, working in the virtual and augmented reality space, raised US$ 2 million as seed funding, which will be used for marketing and product development.
  • In April 2020, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) and TATA Sons signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for licensing of KNOWHOW for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay (FELUDA) for rapid diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • In March 2020, Agnikul Cosmos Pvt Ltd, an IIT Madras incubated space tech start-up developing low-cost satellite launch vehicles, raised Rs 23.4 crore (US$ 3.35 million) in a pre-series A funding round led by pi Ventures.
  • In February 2020, Capgemini announced plans to hire 30,000 employees in the country by 2021.
  • In December 2019, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France signed an MoU for cooperation between the two towards promotion and support of scientific and technological research.

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.



Following are the achievements of the Government in the past four years:

  • The first national state-of-the-art cGMP facility for production of herbal preparations was established in CSIR-IIIM. It has a production capacity of 30,000 tablets and capsules per hour and 500 litres of liquid per batch.
  • DBT launched the DBT-BUILDER (Boost to University Interdisciplinary Departments of Life Sciences for Education and Research) scheme to boost advanced education and promotion of interdisciplinary research and technology development.
  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched 30 skill/training programmes in the areas of leather processing, paints and coatings, electroplating and metal finishing, industrial maintenance engineering, bioinformatics, mechatronics, andglass beaded jewellery among others.

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 in April 2020, Rs 1 = US$ 0.013123

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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