GOVERNANCE/ SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Topic: General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020)
Context: In a difficult year, government has managed to complete an expert-driven, bottom-up, evidence-based and inclusive draft of the fifth National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020)
Need of National Policy: STIP 2020 is the collective aspiration to ensure that we get the benefits of our national investments in science and technology. It is a comprehensive policy framework the guides & promotes investment in Science & Technology.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy will be guided by the following broad vision;
- Atmanirbhar Bharat: To achieve technological self-reliance and position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come.
- Human Capital: To attract, nurture, strengthen and retain critical human capital through a ‘people centric’ science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem.
- Investment: To double the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) researchers, Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD) and private sector contribution to the GERD every 5 years.
- Globally Competitive: To build individual and institutional excellence in STI with the aspiration to achieve the highest level of global recognitions and awards in the coming decade.
Key features of draft STIP are:
- STIP 2020 by way of its decentralized, bottom-up, and inclusive design process aims to restrategize priorities, sectoral focus, and methods of research and technology development for larger socio-economic welfare.
- STI Observatory and Centralised Database
- STIP will lead to the establishment of a National STI Observatory that will act as a central repository for all kinds of data related to and generated from the STI ecosystem.
- It will encompass an open centralised database platform for all financial schemes, programmes, grants and incentives existing in the ecosystem.
- The Observatory will be centrally coordinated and organized in distributed, networked and interoperable manner among relevant stakeholders.
- Open Science Framework
- A future-looking, all-encompassing Open Science Framework will be built to provide access to scientific data, information, knowledge, and resources to everyone in the country and all who are engaging with the Indian STI ecosystem on an equal partnership basis.
- All data used in and generated from publicly-funded research will be available to everyone under FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) terms.
- A dedicated portal to provide access to the outputs of such publicly-funded research will be created through Indian Science and Technology Archive of Research (INDSTA).
- STU Education to be made more inclusive
- Online learning platforms will be developed using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to address the issue of accessibility and to promote research and innovation at all levels.
- Teaching-learning centres (TLCs) will be established to upskill faculty members which in turn will improve the quality of education.
- Engaged Universities will be created to promote interdisciplinary research to address community needs.
- Higher Education Research Centres (HERC) and Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) will be established to provide research inputs to policymakers and bring together stakeholders.
- Increasing Investments
- With an aim to expand the financial landscape of the STI ecosystem, each department/ ministry in the central, the state and the local governments, PSUs, private sector companies and startups will set up an STI unit with a minimum earmarked budget to pursue STI activities.
- Each State will earmark a percentage of the state allocation for STI-related activities under a separate budget head.
- STI investments will be increased through boosting fiscal incentives, enhancing support to industry, especially Medium Small Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), for pursuing research through innovation support schemes and other relevant means on a need basis.
- To ensure systematic governance of the expanded STI financing landscape, an STI Development Bank will be set up to facilitate a corpus fund for investing in direct long term investments in select strategic areas
- Translational Research and Promotion of Innovation
- The policy aims to create a fit for purpose, accountable research ecosystem promoting translational as well as foundational research in India in alignment with global standards.
- An institutional architecture to integrate Traditional Knowledge Systems (TKS) and grassroots innovation into the overall education, research and innovation system will be established.
- Grassroots innovators will also be supported for registration, claiming the Intellectual Property Right (IPR), filing of patent, or any type of legal claim with the help of Higher Education Institute (HEIs).
- Technology self-reliance and indigenization
- A two-way approach of indigenous development of technology as well as technology indigenization will be adopted and focused upon in alignment with national priorities, like sustainability and social benefit, and resources
- A Technology Support Framework will be created to facilitate this development. A Strategic Technology Board (STB) will be constituted to act as a link connecting different strategic departments.
- Inclusivity an integral part of STIP
- An India-centric Equity & Inclusion (E&I) charter will be developed for tackling all forms of discrimination, exclusions and inequalities in STI leading to the development of an institutional mechanism.
- An inclusive culture will be facilitated through equal opportunity for women along with candidates from rural- remote areas, marginalised communities, LGBTQ+ Communities and differently-abled individuals including Divyangjans.
- International Engagement
- Engagement with the Diaspora will be intensified through attracting the best talent back home through fellowships, internships schemes and research opportunities expanded and widely promoted across different ministries.
- Appropriate facilitating channels will be created for remote contribution as well.
- An engagement portal exclusively for the Indian scientific diaspora will be created. ‘S&T for Diplomacy’ will be complemented with Diplomacy for S&T ’.
- STI Policy Institute
- To serve all the aspects of STI policy governance and to provide the knowledge support to institutionalised governance mechanisms , a STI Policy Institute will be established to build and maintain a robust interoperable STI metadata architecture.
- It will conduct and promote nationally and internationally relevant STI policy research and strengthen the science advice mechanism at national, sub-national and international levels.
- It will develop long term capacity building programs for STI policy through training and fellowships.
- An implementation strategy and roadmap will be devised for STI policy and programs along with continuous monitoring and timely evaluation mechanisms.