[Answered] What are the challenges facing research and development (R&D) in India? Discuss the measures that can be taken to transform India’s R&D.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some challenges facing research and development (R&D) in India. Also write somemeasures that can be taken to transform India’s R&D.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Research and development (R&D) are at the core of economic growth. It leads to innovation and innovation in turn leads to economic growth. India’s research and development (R&D) expenditure-GDP ratio of 0.7% is very low when compared to major economies and is much below the world average of 1.8%.

Challenges facing research and development (R&D) in India:

  • Low Funding: The funding is less than 1% of the GDP. Further there are no extra provisions for R&D in the sunrise sectors.
  • High Dependence on Grants: Many universities depend on the DST, DBT, ICMR and CSIR under their extramural support system. So,quality of research at doctoral level gets hampered when less funding is provided to the public institutions.
  • Lack of Skilled Personnel: the best talent of our country migrates to foreign countries resulting in brain drain.
  • IPR violation: poor IPR compliance discourages foreign investment flow into the field of R&D.
  • Outdated Curriculum and Pedagogy: The curriculum in many universities is still focused on rote learning and oriented to getting jobs only. So many universities are unable to duly utilize the research grant provided to them.
  • Poor Private Sector Participation: Private sector contributes 37% of the total R&D expenditure in the nation. It is way less than the average 68% expenditure by private players in developed countries.

The following measures can be taken to transform India’s R&D:

  • Focus on proper implementation of schemes like Make in India and AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Higher spending in R&D by the private sector will happen as the manufacturing sector expands in the country.
  • The amount of Rs 50,000 crore committed to establish NRF could be immediately used to plug the deficits in the grants provided to the autonomous universities and Institutions by CSIR, DST and other agencies.
  • The budgetary allocation towards R&D should be enhanced. Economic Survey 2020-21 suggestedthat the country needs to increase its GERD from around 0.7% to over 2% of its GDP.
  • The National IPR policy of 2016should be duly adhered in order to gain investor confidence and attract more investment in R&D.
  • The Government should promote Government-Industry-Academia partnership to support the R&D Ecosystem in India. The learning experience can be transferred to other sectors like green technologies, defense and electronics manufacturing etc.

To move from stagnation in R&D to a more dynamic ecosystem would require action on many fronts including greater allocation of funds. This would be the desired path to breed a culture of curiosity and inquisitiveness in the country.

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