For registration call @ 9958826967

Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020 (23 July 2020)

Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020 (23 July 2020)

Context

Recently, the government has initiated a consultation process for the formulation of a new national Science, Technology and Innovation Policy.

Background

  • This is the fifth S&T policy of the country and is being formulated at a crucial juncture when India and the world are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For the formulation of a new policy, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and the Department of Science and Technology have jointly initiated a decentralised, bottom-up and inclusive process

Summary of the Debate

Need Of A New Policy

  • Because the time and technology is changing at a very faster rate and a country as a whole is facing anticipated challenges of Science & Technology and Innovation.
  • To achieve sustainable development goals for which science, technology is a strong pillar.
  • For rise of artificial intelligence machine which is going to have a very far-reaching impact on every aspect of our daily life.
  • For not only about the challenges of the future but also for the innovation for our business environment.
  • To utilize our strength in Research and development, Human resources, market, demography dividend to create a knowledge network and knowledge ecosystem in the country.

Sustainable Development Goals related to S&T:

Target 17.6: Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed on terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism

Target 17.8: Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

About the Policy

  • The major focus of the policy is to make a platform where industry and academia could collaborate.
  • The other areas of concerns are:
    • Financing the R&D startups and innovations
    • Capacity building, institutions, and other infrastructure
    • Converting science into technology
    • Equity, inclusion and diversity
    • The democratization of science and technology
  • This will be formulated by the end of the year 2020.
  • The process of formulating STIP 2020 is based on four interlinked tracks, which, according to the government, will cover nearly 15,000 stakeholders.
    • Track I involves extensive public and expert consultation process through a dedicated platform (Science Policy Forum) for receiving inputs from the larger public and expert pool.
    • Track II comprises expert-driven thematic consultations to feed informed recommendations into the policy based on scientific evidence.
    • Track III involves consultations with ministries and states. For track III, nodal officers are being nominated in various states and in ministries, government departments, and agencies. 
    • Track IV constitutes an apex level multi-stakeholder consultation.
  • The consultation processes on different tracks have already started and are running in parallel.

Industry’s Perspective

  • The new STIP policy needs to be used as a mechanism to empower our domestic industry to leapfrog and create significant economic impact and economic value addition for the country.
  • We need to be self-sufficient and have own capabilities in this sector because this will pave the way for our next 50 years. We should also acquire technology from abroad in this pandemic.
  • What the industry wants?
    • A policy which must be easy to articulate in terms of tax benefits.
    • R&D cess, which will create the pool of R&D money that, will help companies to fund such S&T projects.
    • Easy access to market
    • Strong collaboration with academia

Academia’s perspective

  • Academia is doing well in the science front as per the investment done by the government on this. But the impact of science is yet to reach the masses.
  • Technology is an obligation of scientific knowledge for boosting productivity, for building machines. For this, there is a need of industry-academia collaboration.
  • The future of India is the student present in academic institutions and new policy must focus on this more.
  • Challenges for innovation in academic institutions:
    • Institutions have become homogenous and people are not of different backgrounds.
    • Students all over the country are passing out from the same boards and are reading the same books.
    • The process of admission of students and the selection of faculty is not right.
    • Unlike minded people having different attitude are not coming to institutes.
    • There is a lack of multidisciplinary kind of research.
    • The fragmented higher education systems, different colleges for different studies are causing damage to innovation.

Department of Science & Technology (DST)

  • It was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country.
  • The Department has major responsibilities for specific projects and programs as listed below:
    • Formulation of policies relating to Science and Technology.
    • Matters relating to the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cabinet (SACC).
    • Promotion of new areas of Science and Technology with special emphasis on emerging areas
    • Futurology.
    • Coordination and integration of areas of Science & Technology having cross-sectoral linkages in which a number of institutions and departments have interests and capabilities.
    • Undertaking or financially sponsoring scientific and technological surveys, research design, and development, where necessary.
    • Support and Grants-in-aid to Scientific Research Institutions, Scientific Associations, and Bodies.

Way Forward

  • We need to encourage the interaction between academia and industry to strengthen the ecosystem.
  • Expose students to technology platform very early during their schools and connect them to societal problems.
  • The policy needs to be outcome-based and should cover all the aspects from research to innovation, to impact, to industry, to economic value add.

Conclusion

Changing times and technology call for a new and improved policy that is abreast of the time. S&T needs to be used as a means to help our industry thereby helping the economy as a whole. The industry needs to interact with academic institutions more actively.

Main Points Made by the Guests

1- Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Dept. of Science & Technology, GoI 

  • Need new policy because the time and technology is changing at a very faster rate and a country as a whole is facing anticipated challenges of Science & Technology and Innovation.
  • A major focus of the policy is to make a platform where industry and academia could collaborate

2- Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi   

  • The future of India is the student present in academic institutions and new policy must focus on this more.
  • Institutions have become homogenous and people are not of different backgrounds.
  • The fragmented higher education systems, different colleges for different studies are causing damage to innovation.

3- Sanjay Nayak, Chairman, Science & Technology Committee, FICCI

  • The new STIP policy needs to be used as a mechanism to empower our domestic industry to leapfrog and create significant economic impact and economic value addition for the country.
  • We need to be self-sufficient and have own capabilities in this sector because this will pave the way for our next 50 years. We should also acquire technology from abroad in this pandemic

Comment

Upload File