Q) Though India has made considerable progress in the development of Science and Technology in the country, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. Critically analyse. Also explain how the draft STIP2020 can address these challenges.
Why this Question:
Important part of GS paper- III.
Key Demand of the question.
Major challenges in the development of Science and Technology in India and how Draft STIP2020 addresses them
Critically analyse - The key to tackling this question is providing ample evidence to support the claims. Ensure that the analysis is balanced by shedding light on, and presenting a critique of, and alternative perspectives. Present extensive evidence taken from a varying range of sources.
Give a brief overview of the evolution of S&T policies in India and the progress achieved.
In the first part, categorically mention the challenges in the development of S&T in India- low funding, low private sector participation, etc.
In the next part, explain how the draft STIP2020 addresses some of these concerns.
Conclude with a way forward.
When India got independence in 1947, the Science and Technology infrastructure was not that much developed and organized, and it was far behind that of the developed countries. But ever since that, the leaders have recognised the significance of development of science and technology and have taken relevant policy decisions in this respect. There have been four such policies till now:
- The Science and Technology Policy Resolution 1958
- The Technology Policy Statement 1983
- Science and Technology Policy 2003
- Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013
However, India has not yet been able to compete with the developing countries in technological innovations. This is mainly due to:
- Drawbacks in Scientific Education- education in the field of science and technology is still not in line with the international benchmark. Rote learning is promoted in the schools and hardly any innovation is applied and praised.
- Lack of Research and Innovation- the culture of research has largely come to a halt in India leading to lesser innovations in critical areas.
- Over dependence on the public sector- mostly all the research and innovation in the country are carried out by the government and lack of any profit makes the private sector apprehensive about it.
- Lack of employable personnel who have neither the skills nor the aptitude in a variety of fields.
The Draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020 aims to address some of these challenges.
- It defines solutions to improve funding thus: all States to fund research, multinational corporations to participate in research, fiscal incentives and support for innovation in medium and small scale enterprises.
- The STIP envisions free access to all journals (Indian and foreign) for every Indian against a centrally-negotiated payment mechanism.
- It proposes an inclusive culture facilitated through equal opportunities across all sections of the country .
- It proposes integration of Traditional Knowledge Systems and grassroots innovation into the overall education, research and innovation system.
- It proposes creation of a National Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Observatory to act as a central repository for all kinds of data related to and generated from the STI ecosystem.
- It also envisages a STI Development Bank to facilitate a corpus fund for investing in direct long term investments in select strategic areas..
India’s STI growth over recent years has been quite impressive. Our entry into the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index at 48th place (a massive improvement from 81st place in 2015) is a milestone in our achievements and highlights the potential we have. The Draft STIP2020 is a great step in this direction, which if implemented properly can make India a Global Science Superpower.