(Online Course) GS Concepts : Science and technology in India – 12th Plan Policy and Approach

Subject : Science and technology in
Chapter : Policy Planning

Topic: 12th Plan Policy and Approach

Science and Technology Policy, 2003

Policy Objectives

Recognising the changing context of the scientific enterprise, and to meet
present national needs in the new era of globalisation, the Government has
enunciated the following as objectives of the Science and Technology Policy:

  • To ensure that the message of science reaches every citizen of the
    country, so that scientific temper is advanced and we emerge as a
    progressive and enlightened society.
  • To ensure food, agricultural, nutritional, environmental, water, health
    and energy security of the people on a sustainable basis.
  • To mount a direct and sustained effort on alleviation of poverty,
    removal of hunger, malnutrition, reduction of regional imbalances, both
    rural and urban, and generation of employment, by using scientific and
    technological capabilities along with traditional knowledge pool.
  • To vigorously foster scientific research in universities and other
    academic, scientific and engineering institutions.
  • To promote the empowerment of women in all science and technology
    activities and ensure their full and equal participation.
  • To provide necessary autonomy and freedom of functioning for all
    academic and R&D institutions,
  • To accomplish national strategic and security related objectives, by
    using the latest advances in science and technology.

These objectives can be best realised only by a dynamic and flexible science
and technology policy. This policy reiterates India’s commitment to participate
as an equal and vigorous global player in generating and harnessing advances in
science and technology for the benefit of all humankind.

Strategy and Implementation Plan

The implementation, strategy identifies the specific plans, programmes and
projects, with clearly defined tasks, estimates of necessary resources, and time
targets. Some of key elements of implementation strategy are:

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1. Science and Technology Governance and Investments

  • A suitable mechanism shall be evolved by which independent inputs on
    Science and Technology Policy and Planning are obtained on a continuous
    basis from a wide cross-section of scientists and technologists.
  • Efforts shall be directed towards a greater integration of programmes in
    socio-economic sectors with R&D activities.
  • A concerted strategy shall be evolved to infuse a new sense of dynamism
    in our S&T Institutions.
  • It shall be ensured that all highly science-based Ministries/Departments
    of Government are run by scientists and technologists.
  • Government shall make necessary budgetary commitments for higher
    education and science and technology.

2. Optimal utilisation of existing Infrastructure and Competence

Steps shall be taken to network the existing infrastructure, investments and
intellectual strengths to achieve effective and optimal utilisation and
constantly upgrade them to meet changing needs.

3. Strengthening of the Infrastructure for S&T in academic institutions

Major initiatives shall be taken to modernise the infrastructure for science
and engineering in academic institutions. It shall be ensured that all middle
and high schools, vocational and other colleges have appropriately sized science
laboratories, special support shall be provided to select academic institutions
to raise standard of teaching and research. Flexible mechanisms for induction of
new faculty in areas of science shall be developed, constancy of support and
attention shall be ensured over at least a ten-year period.

4. New funding mechanisms for Basic Research

Steps shall be taken for setting up more efficient funding mechanisms for the
promotion of basic research on science, medical and engineering institutions. In
particular administrative and financial procedure shall be simplified to pursuit
efficient operation of research programmes.

5. Human Resource Development

New and innovative schemes shall be introduced to attract and nurture young
talent with an aptitude for research.

Substantial funding shall be allocated for building up human resource base in
relevant areas, continuing process of retraining and re-skilling to keep pace
with rapid advances shall be emphasised.

New mechanisms shall be instituted to facilitate return of scientists and
technologists of Indian origin to India.

6. Technology Development, Transfer and Diffusion

A strong base of science and engineering research provides a social
foundation for a vibrant programme of technology development. Hence, priority
shall be placed on the development of technologies which address the basic needs
of the population; make Indian Industries globally competitive; make the country
economically strong; and address the security concerns of the nation. Special
emphasis shall be placed on equity on development, so that the benefits of
technological growth reach the majority of the population.

Special emphasis shall be given not only to R&D and the technological factors
of innovation, but also to other equally important social, institutional and
market factors needed for adoption, diffusion and transfer of innovation to the
productive sectors. 

7. Industry and Scientific R&D

Efforts shall be made to achieve synergy between Industry and scientific
research. Autonomous Technology Transfer Organisations shall be created as
associate organisations of universities and national, laboratories to facilitate
transfer of the know- how generated to industry. Flexible mechanisms shall be
evolved to help scientists transfer the know-how generated by them to industry
and be a partner in receiving the financial returns. Industry shall be
encouraged to financially adopt or support educational and research
institutions, fund courses of interest to them etc. to help direct science and
technology endeavours towards tangible industrial goals.

8. Indigenous Resources and Traditional Knowledge

Indigenous knowledge shall be further developed for purpose of wealth and
employment generation innovative systems to document, protect evaluate and to
learn from India’s rich heritage of traditional knowledge shall be strengthened
and enlarged. Technologies shall be developed that add value to India’s
indigenous resources A  concerted plan to intensify research on traditional
systems of medicine so as to contribute to fundamental advances in health case,
and leading to commercialisation of effective products shall be undertaken.

9. Technologies for Mitigation and Management of Natural Hazards

A concerted action plan to enhance predictive capabilities and preparedness
for meeting emergencies arising from floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought,
land slides and avalanches shall be drawn up. Measures shall be taken to promote
research on natural phenomena that lead to disasters and human activities that
aggravate them.

10. Generation and Management of Intellectual Property

IPR systems that specially protect scientific discoveries and technological
innovations arising out of traditional knowledge shall be designed and
effectively implemented. Legislations with regard to patents, copyrights and
other forms of Intellectual Property shall ensure that maximum incentives are
provided for individual inventors and to scientific and technological community
to undertake large scale and rapid commercialisation. The development of skills
and competence to manage IPR and leveraging its influence shall be given a major

11. Public awareness of Science and Technology

Support shall be provided for wide dissemination of scientific knowledge.
Efforts shall be made to convey to the young the excitement in scientific and
technological advances and to instil scientific temper in the population at
large. Special support shall be provided for programmes that seek to popularise
and promote science and .technology in all parts of the country.

12. International Science-and Technology Cooperation

Scientific research and technology development can benefit greatly by
international co-operation and collaboration. International collaborative
programmes, especially those contributing directly to our scientific development
of .security objectives shall be encouraged, special emphasis shall be placed on
collaborations with other developing countries and particularly neighbouring
countries, with whom India shares many common problems. International
collaboration in science and technology would be used to further national
interests as an important component of foreign policy initiative.

13. Fiscal Measures

Innovative fiscal measures are critical to ensure successful implementation
of policy objectives. Newer strategies shall be formulated for attracting higher
levels of public and private investments in science and technology development.
An apex Science and Technology advisory body shall be constituted to suggest
appropriate fiscal measures to sub-serve the policy objective.

14. Monitoring

Effective, expeditious, transparent and science-based monitoring and
reviewing mechanisms shall be significantly strengthened, and wherever not
available will be put in place It shall be ensured that the scientific community
is involved in, and responsible for smooth and speedy implementation.

15. The New Vision

The Science and Technology Policy 2003 shall be implemented so as to be in
harmony with our worldview of the larger human family all around. Further, it
shall ensure that S&T truly uplifts the Indian people and all of humanity.

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