Required fundamental policy changes in science and technology: The coming 75 years

Source: The post is based on the article “The coming 75 years” published in The Hindu on 17th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Relevance: About the fundamental policy changes in science and technology.

News: At present India spends just 0.7% of its GDP on research and development (R&D). In the next 75 years, India should shift its focus to science and technology.

Read more: India’s Research and Development (R&D) activities has achieved far less than it’s potential
What basic fundamental policy changes in science and technology does India need?
Increase the R&D budget to 4% of the nation’s GDP

Israel and South Korea are prime examples that drive their respective economies by spending nearly 5% of their GDP on R&D.

However, an increase in R&D must proceed with

a) Appropriate macro-level policy changes on fund allocation, including building physical and intellectual infrastructure, especially in universities, b) Well-trained, globally competitive institutional administrators and processes. 

Ensure individual institutions implement processes to accommodate the large budget

This requires a) Standardising procedures across institutions and borrowing the best practices from some global counterparts, b) Each grant-receiving institution must have internal procedures to handle their scientists’ requests to facilitate effective academia-industry collaboration.

Must Read: Research and Development in India: Status, Challenges and Recommendations – Explained, pointwise
Encourage individual entrepreneurs and Link science with society

Encouraging individual entrepreneurs can bring the benefits of science and technology closer to the masses.

India should a) resolve inadequate staffing at funding agencies, lack of transparency in fund disbursal, lack of a rigorous international standard review and feedback process, excessive delay in fund disbursal, and an outdated appraisal system. To avoid these, India can take help from the IT majors, b) Link the labs with the entrepreneurs to execute innovative ideas, products, and solutions to our society.

Read more: Ministry of Science and Technology inaugurates India’s ‘First Lavender Festival’ in Bhaderwah

All these fundamental policy changes in science and technology will be feasible only if India cuts the defence budget. India must realise that the next generation of war is economic, not military, and only a science and technology-driven economy can prepare India for that.

Print Friendly and PDF