The growth and development of Science and Technology in India is not a decade or a century old activity. There is evidence which shows that it is no less than an ancient saga; the growth and development is evident through the town planning, drainage system, road planning, etc. of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Likewise, throughout from the very ancient period to the medieval or to the modern, the planning and policy of Science and Technology are the major areas of emphasis.
However, after the independence, the five-year planning scheme commenced and over a period of time, Science and Technology accordingly became a major area of emphasis.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India was the torchbearer who initiated by laying more emphasis on education and further led the foundation of Science and Technology.
Likewise, the first policy relating to Science and Technology was first introduced in 1958.
Over the recent past, India declared the decade 2010-2020 as the “Decade of Innovation.”
Let us now discuss the various policies implemented in the field of Science and Technology.
It was the first science policy that largely emphasized on basic research in almost every field of science.
The policy also put emphasis on developing and making available the basic infrastructure for the development of scientific research.
The policy of 1983 was the second policy that largely focused on the achievement of technological competence and self-reliance.
This policy brought the benefits of Science and Technology to the forefront and also focused on the investment required for research and development.
Further, it comes with integrated programs for the socio-economic sectors with the national research and development system to address the national problems and at the same time create a national innovation system.
By 2013, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) became the major drivers of national development.
This policy ensures faster, sustainable, and inclusive development of the people
Further, the policy focuses on the large demographic dividend and the huge talent pool to define the role in achieving the national goals.
The paradigm set by the policy of 2013 is “Science technology and innovation for the people.”
The key features of Policy 2013 are (source: Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013, Government of India, Ministry of Science and technology, New Delhi) −
Promoting the spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society.
Enhancing skill for applications of science among the young from all social strata.
Making careers in Science, research and innovation attractive enough for talented and bright minds.
Establishing world class infrastructure for R&D for gaining global leadership in some select frontier areas of science.
Positioning India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020.
Linking contributions of science, research and innovation system with the inclusive economic growth agenda and combining priorities of excellence and relevance.
Creating an environment for enhanced Private Sector Participation in R&D
Enabling conversion of R&D outputs into societal and commercial applications by replicating hitherto successful models as well as establishing of new PPP structures.
Seeding S&T-based high-risk innovations through new mechanisms.
Fostering resource-optimized, cost-effective innovations across size and technology domains.
Triggering changes in the mindset and value systems to recognize, respect and reward performances which create wealth from S&T derived knowledge.
Creating a robust national innovation system.
Besides the policies discussed above, the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) focuses on the following points (of science and technology) −
Creation and development of national facilities in the field of R&D
Emphasis on partnership growth of Science and Technology
Large scale investment into mega science project aimed at the creation of the research and development infrastructure in India as well as abroad (under partnership)
National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) emphasizes on the following key points −
Promote scientific thinking.
Promote and spread the significance of Science and Technology to masses nationally through different medium such as TV, digital media, print media, and people to people.
Emphasise on training in Science and Technology Communication.
Development and dissemination of Science and Technology software.
Focus on National Children’s Science Congress.
Likewise, through different plans and progressive policies, Science and Technology is being further developing in India.