India today unveiled a new science policy that lays greater thrust on innovation, establishing research institutes and encourage women scientists with an aim to position itself among the top five scientific powers in the world by 2020.
The Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, 2013 also speaks of modifying the intellectual property regime to provide for marching rights for social good when supported by public funds and co-sharing of patents generated in the public private partnership mode.
Unveiling the STI policy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it aspires to position India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020.
"It is an ambitious goal," he said, adding the policy also aims at producing and nurturing talent in science, to stimulate research in universities, to develop young leaders in the field of science and to reward performance.
It also seeks to create a policy environment for greater private sector participation in research and innovation and to forge international alliances and collaborations to meet the national agenda, he said.
The policy also talks of raising gross expenditure in R&D to two per cent of GDP from the current one per cent in this decade by encouraging enhanced private sector contribution.
"The policy is truly aspirational and seeks to accelerate the pace of discovery and delivery of science-led solutions for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth," Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy said.
He dubbed the policy as a "rare and resounding expression of collective will and wisdom of the Indian scientific community that is at once a product of and a clarion call of the scientific community". (MORE) PTI SKU ZMN 01031938 NNNN
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The document is a revision of the 2003 policy which sought to bring science and technology together and emphasised on the need for higher investment into R&D to address national problems.
The (STI) policy also seeks to trigger an ecosystem for innovative abilities to flourish by leveraging partnerships among diverse stakeholders and by encouraging and facilitating enterprises to invest in innovations.
The aim of the policy is to accelerate the pace of discovery, diffusion and delivery of science-led solutions for serving the aspirational goals of India for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The key features of the STI Policy 2013 include making careers in science, research and innovation attractive, establishing world-class infrastructure for R&D for gaining global leadership in some select frontier areas of science.
The policy also includes linking contributions of science, research and innovation system with the inclusive economic growth agenda and combining priorities of excellence and relevance.
It also stresses on creating an environment for enhanced private sector participation in R&D, enabling conversion of R&D outputs into societal and commercial applications by replicating successful models as well as establishing of new public-private partnership structures.
India first unveiled its Scientific Policy Resolution in 1958 which resolved to "foster, promote and sustain" the cultivation of science and scientific research in all its aspects.
The Technology Policy Statement of 1983 focused on the need to attain technological competence and self reliance.
Officials said in today's world, innovation was no longer a mere appendage to S&T but has assumed centre stage in its own right in the development of countries around the world. PTI SKU ZMN 01031939 NNNN