By Eugene Sebastian
India‘s new Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy was released in January 2013. It envisions placing India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020. It proposes to use STI for faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth with a focus both on STI for people and people for STI.
It plans to boost innovation through research and development (R&D) driven by private sector participation, publishing more research papers, achieving gender parity in S&T and global cooperation. A Strong and viable Science, Research and Innovation system for High Technology led path for India (SRISHTI) are the goal for the STI policy.
Primary objectives of the Science and Technology Innovation Policy 2013:
Budget: Increasing the R&D spending to 2% in next five years’ time through PPP; creating conductive environment for encouraging private sector investment in R&D. This seems attainable as the industrial R&D investment grew by 250% and the sales by 200% between 2005 and 2010.
Research & Manpower: Promotion of spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society; attracting talented and bright minds towards careers in science, research and innovation; increasing the number of R&D personnel by 66% in next five years; creating environment for women to enter in R&D field; and setting up inter university centers, bringing together different disciplines of humanities and science together. The government plans to increase the share of global scientific publications from 3.5% to over 7% and quadruple the number of papers in top 1% journals from the current levels.
Business: Identifying 10 sectors of high potential and putting more resources into them for STI; increasing by two folds the global share of high tech products; increasing R&D intensity in service sector, small and medium scale enterprises; sharing the risk on R&D investments with private sector; providing new financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs; creating a public procurement policy that favors indigenous innovations; achieving synergy between R&D policy for agriculture vs. STI policy.
Climate Change: Active role in implementation of National Action plan for Climate Change (NAPCC); and providing incentives for green manufacturing.
PPP: Setting up of
a)a National science, Technology and innovation foundation to facilitate investments in S&T projects under PPP mode and large scale R&D facilities under PPP mode
b)Establishing technology business incubators and science-led entrepreneurships;
c)Treating private sector R&D institutions at par with public sector institutions for giving public funds.
IPR: Modification of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for social goods and IPR generated under PPP; setting up of a regulatory and legal framework for sharing IPRs between Investors and inventors.
Participation: Encouraging participation of all STI stakeholders including
a)Women and differently-abled and disadvantaged sections of society;
b)NGOs who would play pivotal role for delivery science-tech-innovation outputs especially related with rural / grassroot level;
c)State Governments by setting up state specific plans and strengthening the State Sci-Tech Councils / Boards and fine-tuning five-year plan schemes in response to rapid changes in S&T;
d)International partners by forging strategic alliances both bilateral and multilateral.
Public awareness: Releasing white papers on new science projects to generate public awareness about the ethical / social / economic implications of science-tech-R&D initiatives.
Policy outline reported by The Economic Times