1 / 10You, as a consultant, are assigned the task of formulating a Technology andInnovation Policy for India, appropriate for the current environment. Please highlight thecontents of the Policy that you would formulate. Please also specify areas that aredifferent and additional when compared India’s Science and Technology Policy 2003.SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION POLICY(DRAFT)PART-IIntroduction1. At the dawn of independence in 1947, India nursed the dream of rapid social andeconomic development using knowledge and tools derived from Science andTechnology (S & T). In spite of the post-independence push to create indigenous S&Tpolicy, the current S & T capacity has been stagnant over the decades. In the currentglobalisation scenario, India is far behind much smaller countries in terms of S&Tcapacity and funding for building the desired S&T capacity. This has been due thenegligence of successive Governments which failed to have a vision, goals, objectivesand priorities.This has resulted in relatively NIL remarkable progress in developingadequate capacity and in ensuring that Science, Technology and Innovation drive socio-economic activities. A major cause is the absence of a definitive and prescriptiveNational STI policy document which defines the vision, goals, objectives and prioritiesfor investment in STI. A National Science and Technology Policy would commitgovernment, the productive sector of the economy, science and technology sectorinstitutions to targets for production, processing, research and development (R&D) andinnovation.2. India since ages has had a deep rooted tradition of cultivation of scientificknowledge and technological innovations in the fields of Metallurgy, shipbuilding, townplanning and architecture, sophisticated guided missiles and chemical warfare, fine artand carvings, metallic jewellery, coloured rock paintings, avionics and navigation on oneside and rich knowledge of nature and bioscience, medicine and life sciences on theother side. Post independence, Nehru’s Vision of S&T, led growth and development.Rise of scientific organisations like DRDO, BARC, ISRO, CSIR and the DST all owe toNehru’s tryst with Destiny propelled by his love for cultivation of Science and Scientifictemper coupled with technology development towards making the country independentand exploit S&T to propel social upliftment and economic growth. For Nehru S&T wereinseparable and often interchangeable, with emphasis on cultivation of science and thedevelopment of technology together in all scientific laboratories. At these laboratories,scientists and engineers worked together with a mission mode on each project.
2 / 10PART-IIVision, Goals and Objective3. The policy should be driven on the principles of relevance, realism, cost-effectiveness, synergy and partnership. The policy should be steered by an independentbody of eminent personnel from respective fields, without interference of theGovernment. The role of the Government is limited to arrange for co-ordination,funding, implement policies / guidelines towards support of the vision.(a) Vision - Becoming a developed economy in the shortest possible time.(b) Goal – STI policy to be fully integrated into a national developmentstrategy that would harness the nation’s total science and technology capacity toachieve national objectives for:-- Self reliance in S&T by aggressively promoting S&T culture- Development of existing academic institutions to help nurture ST&I- Development of self reliant strategic Industry- Sustainable industrial growth- Competitiveness of enterprises- Poverty reduction and inclusive development- Sustainable environmental management(c) Objectives. The basic objectives are:-- Facilitate mastering of scientific and technological capabilities- Provide the framework for inter-institutional efforts in developing STI andprogrammes in all sectors of the economy towards providing the basicneeds of the society.- Create the conditions for the improvement of scientific and technologicalinfrastructure for research and development and innovation.(i) Long-term Objectives. In the long-term, the main objectives areto create endogenous science and technology capacities appropriate tonational needs, priorities and resources, and to create a science andtechnology culture whereby national, socio-cultural and economicproblems are resolved.(ii) Medium-Term Objectives. In the medium term, of 10 years, theobjective is to accelerate the promotion of innovation through thedevelopment and utilisation of modern scientific and technologicalcapabilities to provide the basic needs of the population and to competeably in the global market.
3 / 10(iii) Short-Term Objectives. In the short term of first 5 years ofimplementation, the government will restructure the entire science andtechnology machinery, infrastructure and programmes in order to makethem more responsive to national needs and priorities in all sectors of theeconomy. Towards this, emphasis will be placed on:-- Restructuring of the National Science and Technology Advisory system.- Improving basic and applied research infrastructure;- Restructuring the teaching of science at the basic, secondary and tertiarylevels of the education system- Promoting the training of a critical mass of middle-level technicalpersonnel to address the provision of basic needs of food, shelter, health,clothing, energy, etc...and to enable the population and the nation toparticipate in a competitive global economy.- Acquisition of skills in high and upcoming areas of technology and theirintegration into known technologies- Initiation of mastery of known technologies and their application inindustry.PART-IIISECTOR-SPECIFIC POLICIES AND MEASURES TO APPLY STI4. The principal thrust of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy isthat it pervades all sectors of the economy. This will ensure the integration of scienceand technology into the national development process. STI should be the driver to theachievement of sectoral goals, objectives and programmes. In order to achieve theseobjectives, it is essential to facilitate the implementation of sectoral policies,programmes and strategies by the respective sectors on the basis of the overallNational Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. Sectors such as Agriculture,Health, Education, Infrastructure, Defence, Environment, Energy, Trade, strategic andeconomy oriented Industry, Natural Resources, Human Settlements andCommunications shall be particularly well-addressed in the formulation of the Scienceand Technology Policy guidelines. This section of the National Science, Technology andInnovation Policy highlights the objectives and strategies for STI facilitation of thesector-specific policies and programmes.The scope of this sector policy is limited to only Educationsector. A similar sector specific policy can be developed for allsectors.5. Education.5.1 Objective. To orient all levels of the country’s educational system to theteaching and learning of science and technology in order to produce a criticalmass of the requisite scientific human resource for national development and
4 / 10accelerate the development of a culture of science and technology in society. Abody of noted academicians be made responsible for planning, guiding andexecution of the policy, who in-turn will be responsible to the independent bodyfor implementation of STI.5.2 Strategies.- Ensure that by the year 2020, 60% of all students in the public universities and80% of those in the polytechnic and vocational institutions are registered inscience and science-related disciplines.- Promote post-graduate education in scientific disciplines targeting 10% of thestudent population in tertiary educational institutions enrolling at the post-raduatelevel, on basis of merit.- Create special incentives for students and graduates of science and echnology- Improve science education at all levels and in all aspects of the educationalsystem especially at the basic and secondary levels.- Promote technical and vocational education and training to enhance middlelevel management in science and technology delivery to all sectors.- Promote science and technology innovativeness within the educational system.- Increase the country’s capacity in the training of personnel in emergingtechnologies.- Promote acclaimed technical institutions like IITs, IISc and certain universitiesfor development of incubation centres funded on PPP model.- Enforce tight control over starting and running of Technical institutions tomaintain quality of technical education.- All students to be encouraged to develop projects during their graduation/post-graduation education. Acclaimed or out of the box projects to be incubated forcommercial development. Students developing innovative projects beencouraged to enroll in post-graduate technical courses with incentives likeemployment guarantees and commitment to progress their work within thecountry.- Enhance collaboration between research institutions and universities to trainhigh level scientific manpower.- Enhance collaboration between education institutions and industry to ensurecurrency of education.- Ensure that adult literacy classes include studies into cause and effect relationsand how things work.- Identify skill gaps in STI new emerging technologies through regular review.[Note for understanding and not a part of policy - As per Prof. PB Sharma, VCDTU; the students of DTU have developed innovative projects, which have beenrecognised at International Forums. However, the Governrnent or itsorganisations do not seem to have taken notice of this. While DRDO has beenstruggling to develop such airborne systems, students under the guidance oftheir professors, have been successful in development of such advancedtechnology.
5 / 10In the absence of a scientific oriented strategy for education, such brilliantprojects – which could be incubated and further developed by DRDO; andstudents with such talents are not being nurtured, will end up to work fororganisations beyond the Indian shores without fostering their knowledgetowards further research which could be of great use to India.]5.3 Execution AgencyThe following agencies shall be responsible for implementation ofthe strategy for Education. These agencies will in-turn prepare the detailedstrategies towards achieving the objectives with a perspective of the short term,medium term and long term goals within the specified time spans.- University Grants Commission (UGC)- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)[Note for understanding and not a part of policy - Two decades back the Indiasystem of technical education was spread out between ITI / Polytechnic colleges,Engineering colleges and Institutions of higher learning. This enabled creation ofa mix of skilled persons from the ITIs / polytechnics which produced techniciansOR the work force, Engineering graduates for handling the technology from amanagerial point, and post graduates/Doctorates who could undertake research.This enabled India to be identified as country with a vast pool of skilled andresearch oriented personnel. Post globalisation, as the demand for skilledtechnicians increased, any individual with easy money irrespective of his worthas an academician, invested in Engineering colleges which became a source ofproducing more money rather than quality Engineers. In the absence of vision inthe Ministry of HRD, numerous engineering colleges sprouted in every nook andcorner of the country. These colleges passed out engineers as a factory productwithout any thought for quality. Today, the country has a vast pool of engineerswho neither understand engineering nor are able to match the aspirations of theindustry. This indirectly has reduced the number of skilled technicians / workforce of industry as well as the number of research fellows to abyssal levels.The present stage has been realised due the absence of Vision, Control ofagencies like UGC & AICTE by the Executive along with their political mastersand resultant forcing the academicia to exit from the scene.]PART-IVMANAGING STI POLICY.6. A ministry in charge of Science, Technology, and Innovation will manage andimplement Government’s STI policies. His mandate will be executed through anindependent apex organisation operating under his aegis, with the head of this body
6 / 10reporting to the minister, interact with the government policymakers, provide STI adviceto the Ministry and the PM, and to ensure coordination and harmonisation of thenation’s STI policy and programs. The Minister will provide the needed leadership tonetwork with other ministries and organisations for STI application and development inthe country. The Ministry will have representatives assigned to interact with each of therelevant sector Ministries in order to ensure the implementation of the sector STIstrategies. A collegium of eminent personalities from various fields & industry will formthe governing members of the apex body, and in-turn will also select the the futuregoverning members. The head of the apex body will be selected by the minister on thebasis of advice from the existing head and the collegiums. This body would serve as aThink Tank institution and it is meant to provide the brain power for national strategicSTI policy formulation.7. The Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Body. The Policy,Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) body will be responsible for Policyformulation and the development of appropriate strategies for the monitoring andevaluation of these policies. [ The detailed strategy has been omitted due paucity oftime]8. Promoting, Development and Capacity Building. In line with the vision forscience and technology-led economic growth and enhancement in the quality of life,government will take necessary measures to promote, develop fully, nationalscience and technology capabilities to enable it achieve greater productivity andefficiency, and to attain self-reliance in terms of trained skills and technical know-howand reverse brain drain. New approaches to education and training shall be developedto equip researchers to work more effectively in an innovative manner. This will requirenew curricula and training programmes that are comprehensive, holistic and flexiblerather than being narrowly discipline-based. A system will be developed to attract,retrain, motivate and retain indigenous scientific, technical and technological skills andknow-how. Deserving scientists, engineers and technologists will be given specialrecognition through awards and remuneration in line with the market trends to reversebrain drain. [ The detailed strategy has been omitted due paucity of time]9. Strengthening National Engineering Design Capacity. The acceleration ofthe mastery of known technologies is of prime importance in the industrialisationprogramme. Government will facilitate the establishment of centre(s) for engineeringand manufacturing, and pilot and demonstration plants in selected departments andinstitutions and to promote the development of indigenous capacity and capability indesired fields. An all-embracing capacity for industrial design will be established insupport of quality presentation at all levels of product development and manufacture.[ The detailed strategy has been omitted due paucity of time]PART-V
7 / 10MECHANISMS FOR FINANCING STI10. The success of a programme for integrating science and technology into thecountry’s development agenda depends on the establishment of appropriatearrangements for managing the science and technology development and deliverysystem. It is important that all sectors of the economy, especially the private sector,realise the importance of science and technology and provide adequate resources tosupport science and technology activities. The necessary systems should also be put inplace to ensure that such resources are utilised optimally and that duplication of activities isavoided, as much as possible.11. Allocation of a minimum of 2% of the GDP to begin with, to support the science andtechnology sector. Encourage the private sector to support the funding for R&D activities,especially to cater for the needs of the small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs) whichcan be nurtured to become the cutting edge for the commercialisation of novel products orprocesses. Institute an attractive tax incentive mechanism for contributors to the instituted fundsor directly to R&D activities, tax break during period of commercial spin off of technologydeveloped by the institutions but in such a way as not to erode the national tax base. Encouragethe formation of a venture capital (high risk) fund administering authority for thecommercialisation of new technologies from scientific and technological institutions.PART-VISCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT AND PROMOTION INSTITUTIONS.12. The institutions as mentioned at Appendix shall support the STI policy. [Thedetails of the institutions has been omitted due paucity of time]JAIHIND
8 / 10Comparison between the proposed policy and SIT-20031. The following are the differences between the proposed SIT policy and the SITpolicy of 2003.(a) The proposed policy highlights the Vision, Goals and objectives;furthermore the objectives are classified as long term, medium term and shortterm.This gives the executing parties as to the plan the course of action keepingin mind the short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals.(b) The proposed policy is sector specific while the SIT-2003 does not spellout so; the Strategy and Implementation Plan at section-C, gives a fair idea of thetarget sectors.Science & Technology has influenced every sphere of life. Unless thespecific spheres are identified, the executing agencies is lost as to whichareas the SIT-2003 is to be applied.(c) The proposed policy also stipulates the strategy to be adopted towardsimplementation of the SIT policy; while the SIT-2003 does not have a strategy. Itonly redefines the objective. This indicates that the policy has been formulatedwithout much thought of action/implementation.In the absence of a strategy to pursue the SIT policy, it is left to themanaging body as how to achieve the set objectives; which as a normdiffers from one individual to another. Hence specifying the strategy helpsthe executing agencies to start working towards achieving the objectivesrather than firstly to start planning as how to achieve the pbjectives.(d) The proposed policy highlights brings out the way how to Manage the STIpolicy; which is not visible in the SIT-2003.The stake holders are aware of the organisation, thus providing themawareness of the channel of communication.(e) The proposed policy also highlights the strategy for Monitoring andEvaluation, Promotion & Development, Strengthening of National DesignCapacity; where as the SIT-2003 has a few lines mentioned about it without anystrategy..Any task required to be implemented needs a body for evaluation, whosefeedback will help the executing body/agencies to review and re-strategise.(f) Implementation of the SIT policy calls for large scale investments – whilethe proposed policy has specified the strategy for funding etc... SIT-2003 isvague in this aspect.
9 / 10(g) The proposed policy specifies the institutions which are responsible fortaking forward the proposed policy; while the SIT-2003 does not have anymention of the stake holders.Note: Over the years successive Governments’ have developed STI plans; first in1958, followed by 1983, 2003 and the latest in 2013. After a look at thesepolicies, it becomes obvious that over the years, each plan has been a watereddown version of its earlier avatar, while the political aspirations of theGovernment in power are being reflected in successive policies. The policies aremore like a party’s manifesto – lacking Vision, Goal, Objective & Perspective.This only highlights the attitude of those at the helm.Y Krishna Mohan2012Hz58051References:Presentation by Prof. PB Sharma, VC DTUResolution on Science and Technology for Development by UNITED NATIONSECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL