Innovation and Technology
Innovation and Technology
8.1. Since Independence, India has endeavoured to bring economic and social change through science and technology. The effort has been both on upgrading the traditional skills to make them relevant and competitive and developing advanced capabilities in frontier areas of science and technology. The visionaries who led the growth of science and technology (S&T) in India were convinced that S&T could play an important role in transforming India in to a modern, industrialized society. Experience and results show that this confidence was well placed. Science, technology, and innovation are even more relevant today. Scientific knowledge and expertise, innovation, high technology, industrial infrastructure and skilled workforce are the currencies of this new era. 8.2. The investments made in Research and Development (R&D) by the developed countries reveals that the comparative strength of India in knowledge sectors would be seriously disadvantaged in competition to other nations with similar or even smaller sizes of economy relative to India if adequate investments are not made in this domain. As per R&D statistics for 2004–05, India invests around 0.8% of GNP in R&D compared to more than 2% by the developed countries. India currently ranks 13th among the top 38 countries in terms of number of publications in SCI journals; China ranks ninth. On the other hand, India ranks second after China, among the top 23 developing countries. However, the productivity of Indian science as a measure of dollars spent per publication in Science Citation Index (SCI) journals is comparable with other countries.
ELEVENTH PLAN POLICY AND APPROACH
8.3. While India’s economic growth in the recent years has been impressive, many challenges remain to be met to create a strong and vibrant innovation eco-system, which is the need of the day. This requires (i) an education system which nurtures creativity; (ii) an R&D culture and value system which supports both basic and applied research and technology development; (iii) an industry culture which is keen to interact with the academia; (iv) a bureaucracy which is supportive; (v) a policy framework which encourages young people to enter into scientific careers and (vi) an ability to scan scientific developments in the world and use technology foresight to select critical technologies in a national perspective. It is with this conviction that the Eleventh Five Year Plan approach to S&T has emphasized the following: • Setting up a national-level mechanism for evolving policies and providing direction to basic research; • Enlarging the pool of scientific manpower and strengthening the S&T infrastructure and attracting and retaining young people to careers in science; • Implementing selected National Flagship Programmes which have direct bearing on the technological competitiveness of the country in a mission mode; • Establishing globally competitive research facilities and centres of excellence; • Kindling an innovative spirit among scientists to translate R&D leads into scalable technologies; • Developing new models of PPPs in higher education, particularly for research in universities and high technology areas;
166 Eleventh Five Year Plan
• Identifying ways and means of catalysing industry– academia collaborations; and, • Promoting strong linkages with advanced countries, including participation in mega international science initiatives. 8.4. The Eleventh Five Year Plan will provide policy support for incentivizing greater accountability, administrative efficiency and flexibility and in some cases, systemic changes. The most important among these is the need for organizational and administrative changes in S&T departments/agencies/institutions to create a conducive environment for R&D and ensuring optimal/efficient use of pubic sector R&D resources. Manpower being critical for the successful implementation of...
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