S&T in India – UPSC GS3

  • India invests about 0.65% of its GDP on R&D while China invests 2% : UNESCO
  • China’s investment is now comparable to any developed country, with Germany standing at 2.9% and the U.S. at 2.8%.
  • In 2000, China had invested only about 0.9% of its GDP on research and development, but this was steadily ramped up and in 2010 stood at 1.71%
  • India invested 0.74% in 2000, and increased this to 0.82% in 2010. While China took it up to 2.1% in 2016, in India it came down to 0.63% in 2015
  • More than half of the total expenditure on R&D was done by the government in India.
What is the Indians legacy in the field of Science?
  • Indians have a long tradition of illuminating the world of science. This is evident right from Aryabhata, Bhaskaracarya and Varahamihira to the great scientists of modern India.
  • The role of women in the field of science is also unforgettable. Women like Janaki Ammal (botanist), Bibha Chowdhuri (physicist), Asima Chatterjee (chemist), and Gagandeep Kang (medical scientist) have made India proud.
  • The contribution of C.V Raman in the field of Physics made him the most visible face of Indian science. He became the first Asian to won a noble price in Physics.
  • Apart from that, other major contributors like Jagadish Chandra Bose (C.V. Raman’s senior), Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha, (both were Raman’s juniors) also made major contributions in science and being acclaimed globally.
Why S&T development is slow in India?
  1. Research is not fully funded by the government.
  2. Lack of adequate infrastructure including laboratories,
  3. Lack of coordination between research and industry. Hence, science and research is not applied to business and at the same time the researchers are not able to comprehend the demands of the industry.
  4. Unlike “developed” countries and China where Reward oriented and Industrialist Sponsored Funds come in the Labs. In India funds are generally for making Brick and mortar structure of IIT and IIM for political mileage , rather constructive research.
  5. Patenting ,Licensing and Loose IPR regime also discourages any new invention. Various Indians which worked with foreign institutions have claimed rebound awards , which proves that there is no deficit in the talent but in the processes
Lack of Synergy between Industry and Academia:
India focussed mainly on setting up institutions like IITs and IIMs and confining their focus in academic direction like publications. Unlikely, the countries like USA, Japan etc. went for fully funded research, allowed private companies to take IPRs on them and developed a synergy between science and industry.
Measures to be taken
  • Enhancement in Budget for R&D
  • Concession for companies involved in R&D rather reverse engineering
  • Contribution based and not seniority based model
  • Made in India and not Make in India which will encourage R&D
  • Strong IPR regime
  • International practices of Public private partnership
  • New talent shall be harnessed improving Farm to lab models
  • MSME which haunts with various technological problems can be provided solution with help of IIT and NITs
  • Political will and Mature politics over development is the key here
Recent issues:
  • Budgetary cuts : The sector has seen consistent decline in plan allocations especially since the Twelfth Plan. This has stalled various critical research projects, as well as capacity building efforts.
  • Fund flow is another issue. Budgetary allocations are often delayed due to systemic hurdles. This delays procurement process, thus hampering research.
  • Politico – bureaucratic interference
  • Delay in appointments ex. In CSIR labs
Related Questions:
  1. Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (UPSC Mains 2016)
  2. What path did India choose after independence to develop the science and technology field in India? Do you think, compared to USA, Japan and Other scientifically developed countries, India chose a wrong path? Critically comment. (200 Words)

1 thought on “S&T in India – UPSC GS3”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top