NEW SCIENCE POLICY ‘A JOKE’
NEW DELHI: In 2003, India set itself a goal: to increase its research and development investment from under 1% of its GDP to 2% by 2007. Ten years later, India's targets are the same. So is the language of its national science policy.
The country's new science, technology and innovation policy unveiled on Thursday by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Kolkata to claps and flashbulbs is largely a mix and match of India's 2003 policy and a June 2012 government report, a close look at these documents shows.
“It’s a joke that’s being played on the nation,” a senior scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said. “This joke will unfortunately rebound on the country.”
Ten years after the 2003 policy, India’s research and development investment remains under 1% of its GDP, and in absolute terms just a fifth of China’s and one-twentieth of the US’s funding for science and technology. India’s investment in R&D in 2010 was 24.8 billion USD, well below the US (398 billion), Japan (148 billion), China (102 billion). Russia and Brazil are threatening to overtake India.