Trend & Mind-Set that India’s Central Science & Technology Sector & Further Need



Tapas Kumar Choudhury


The ability to innovate and deploy globally competitive technologies has been recognized as the next key driver of global economic change in the emerging knowledge economy. While science is scholarship driven, technology and innovation are market and competition driven, respectively. Currently, Indian Research and Development landscape is largely influenced by the character of public funded research and selection of R&D priorities is mostly supply driven. The private sector investment into R&D have been marginal. Therefore, demand driven component of R&D goals has been limited. Policy, strategy and tools are required to stimulate larger investment into demand driven R&D goals. Energy sector invests far too into R&D, although industrial turn over in the sector is extremely high. Promotion of public- private partnership into R&D and clean energy is a critical component of India’s competitiveness in global trade and industrial growth. New strategies and tools are required to stimulate engagement of private sector into R&D and enhance the share of private sector investment from the current 26% of India’s R&D spend to at least 50% during the 2012-17 period. The larger share of public investments into R&D could also be leveraged by focusing of R&D for public and social ‘good priorities of the country. There is an un-tapped opportunity for India to emerge as a global leader in affordable innovations under PPP by focusing on R&D for public and social goods in the areas of agriculture and food security, water, energy, affordable health care, education, environment, renovation of urban infrastructure, S&T inputs to rural development etc. Residual idealism among the youth and vast talent base offer an opportunity for the R&D sector in: the country to gain leadership in affordable and social innovations. Coming five years should lead to the creation of an innovation ecosystem most suited to the developmental phase of the country. Such an ecosystem should be complete with new responses to risk averse nature of the society, delivery models for innovative deployment of technologies, business models for financing deployment of innovations and adjustments in governance and management models for supporting strategic goals of innovations. The approach for R&D sector should address all’ stages of life cycles of ideas; from creation to commercialization and value creation. Thiswould call for paradigm shifts in approaches of planning for R&D in India during the Twelfth Five Year Plan period.



RNI Registration No. CHAENG/2016/68678