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New investments in science

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    7th January, 2021

Context

  • The draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy is released which contains radical and progressive proposals.

What are the key features of draft Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy?

  • It is the 5th national STI policy (STIP).
  • It follows core principles of being decentralized, evidence-informed, bottom-up, experts-driven, and inclusive.
  • It aims to be dynamic, with a robust policy governance mechanism that includes periodic review, evaluation, feedback, adaptation and, most importantly, a timely exit strategy for policy instruments.
  • The STIP will be guided by the vision of positioning India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come.
  • It will attract, nurture, strengthen, and retain critical human capital through a people-centric STI ecosystem.
  • It is to double the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) researchers, gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) and private-sector contribution to GERD every five years.
  • It is to build individual and institutional excellence in STI with the aim of reaching the highest levels of global recognition and awards in the coming decade.
  • STIP provides a forward-looking, all-encompassing Open Science Framework to provide access to scientific data, information, knowledge, and resources to everyone in the country.
  • The policy outlines strategies for strengthening India’s STI ecosystem to achieve the larger goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • To undertake efficient governing mechanisms for the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) funding landscape, a national STI Financing Authority will be created.
  • An STI Development Bank will be created to direct long term investments in select strategic areas.

What is Open Science Framework and its significance mentioned in draft?

  • STIP provides a forward-looking, all-encompassing Open Science Framework to provide access to scientific data, information, knowledge, and resources to everyone in the country, and to all who are engaging with the Indian STI ecosystem on an equal partnership basis.
  • Open Science fosters more equitable participation in science through increased access to research output.
  • It will bring greater transparency and accountability in research.
  • It will increase inclusiveness; better resource utilisation through minimal restrictions on reuse of research output and infrastructure.

What it recommended about budget funding?

  • At 0.6% of GDP, India’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) is quite low compared to other major economies that have a GERD-to-GDP ratio of 1.5% to 3%.
  • STIP has made some major recommendations in this regard, such as expansion of the STI funding landscape at the central and state levels.
  • Enhanced incentivisation mechanisms for leveraging the private sector’s R&D participation through boosting financial support and fiscal incentives for industry and flexible mechanisms for public procurement.