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At rank 48, India stands among the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index 2020.

Science & Technology Industry Analysis

    Last updated on Dec, 3 2021

India has a strong network of science and technology institutions and trained manpower. It has the third-largest scientific and technical manpower in the world. As of June 18, 2021, India comprised 988 universities. As per the Economic Survey 2021, India’s GERD as a percentage of GDP stood at 0.65%. India’s medical technology (MedTech) sector is forecast to reach US$ 7.8 billion in 2020 and US$ 9.6 billion in 2022.

In FY21, there were 5,018 R&D projects, 2,528 fellowships, 3,702 publications, 30,532 ongoing projects and 797 innovations.

The number of individuals trained under various departments of science and technology stood at 13,033, while fellowships stood at 1,444 in FY22 (until September 2021).

India is among the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. India stood third in the number of science and engineering publications in the world.

The engineering R&D and product development market in India is forecast to post a CAGR of ~12% to reach US$ 63 billion by 2025, from US$ 31 billion in 2019. In the Union Budget for FY20, the Government announced setting up of National Research Foundation for R&D.

From 2014 to 2021, India recorded a 572% growth in patent approvals.

The total number of patent applications filed by scientists and inventors in India increased to 61,768 in FY19 from 47,854 in FY18. India recorded a rapid increase in grant of patents and copyrights in the last 5-6 years. The number of patents granted increased from 6,326 in FY16 to 28,391 in FY21, trademarks registration increased from 65,045 in FY16 to 2,55,993 in FY21 and copyrights granted increased from 4,505 in FY16 to 16,402 in FY21.

In September 2021, India published the amended Patents Rules (2021) and reduced fees by 80% for educational institutions.

In total 1,494 Indians were listed among the top 2% scientists in world.

India ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index for 2021. In the Bloomberg Innovation Index, 2021, India ranked 50th in terms of innovations. In South Asia, India is the only country to be represented on the index. India ranks 10th in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 that was launched by the International Telecommunication Union.

India's biggest IT giants, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies, added >17,000 staff, including freshers and lateral hires in the second quarter of FY21, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2021, the government announced plans to establish 75 science technology & innovation hubs in India for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) and empower them to contribute to the socio-economic improvement of the country.

In October 2021, the government launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA) to accelerate technology advancements and strengthen the space sector in the country.

India offers various opportunities for research & development and innovations. As of 2021, >70% of the 50 most innovative firms across the world have a research and development centre in India.

In October 2021, Biz2Credit, a fintech company, announced plan to invest US$ 100 million in India over the next five years on research and development activities and expansions.

In September 2021, Atal Innovation Mission and Dassault Systèmes announced their plan to set up an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem across India.

In August 2021, the Government of India announced its support to 75 start-ups in the areas of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and digital health.

In September 2020, Remedial Action, Knowledge Skimming and Holistic Analysis of COVID-19 (RAKSHAK), became a part of Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) in IIT, Jodhpur. The various projects under RAKSHAK include developing a technology platform based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mitigate situations arising amid/due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 22, 2020, Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to provide knowledge in the field of Information Technology to offer solutions to challenges faced by the country.

In December 2020, India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine candidate received approval from the Indian Drug regulators to initiate Phase I/II human clinical trials. The novel mRNA vaccine candidate, HGCO19 has been developed by Gennova, Pune, and supported with seed grant under the Ind-CEPI mission of Department of Biotechnology of Ministry of Science & Technology.

In December 2020, the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan appealed to the scientific community to ‘Innovate for India (I4I)’ and create competitive advantages to make India ‘Aatmanirbhar’.

Under the Union Budget 2021-22, the government announced allocation of Rs. 14,794.03 crore (US$ 2.02 billion) to the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Department of Atomic Energy has been allocated Rs. 18,264.89 crore (US$ 2.50 billion). The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been allocated Rs. 6,067.39 crore (US$ 831.63 million). The Ministry of Earth Sciences was allocated Rs. 1,897.13 crore (US$ 260.03 million).

In January 2021, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) signed an MoU with the Russian centre for collaboration on marine sciences and technology.

In January 2021, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced that it will establish a quantum computing applications lab in the country, in collaboration with AWS, to accelerate quantum computing-led R&D and enable new scientific discoveries.

In January 2021, Wipro signed an MoU with Israel’s Tel Aviv University for research and analysis in quantum science and technology.

In July 2021, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata, along with IIT Kharagpur, have developed piezoelectric molecular crystals that have capabilities to self-repair from mechanical damage (without the need for external intervention), according to a statement from the Department of Science and Technology. Once commercially available, they will be used to replace smartphone screens.

In July 2021, ISRO announced that its geo-imaging satellite ‘EOS-03’, which will enable near-real time monitoring of natural disasters such as floods and cyclones, is scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2021 and Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched in the third quarter of 2022.

In August 2021, the central government approved Deep Ocean Mission (DOM), which will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs. 4,077 crore (US$ 548.54 million) for five years. The mission is a multi-ministerial, multi-disciplinary programme to develop deep-sea technologies such as manned submersibles (that are rated for 6,000-metre water depth) and enable deep-sea mining, exploration of deep-sea mineral resources and marine biodiversity, acquisition of a research vessel to explore oceans, conduct deep-sea observations and build capacities in marine biology research.

In August 2021, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh announced that gamma irradiation technology for food preservation has been shared with private players and at present, 26 gamma radiation processing plants are operational in the country in private, semi government and government sector for irradiation of various products.

In August 2021, ISRO announced that it is in discussions with European and Israeli space agencies to boost cooperation and recognise potential opportunities to work.

In August 2021, INDIAai and NASSCOM launched the first edition of the Lab2Market initiative to boost industry-academia collaboration.

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R&D – Research and Development

Indian Science and R&D Industry Report (September, 2021)
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