NEW SCI­ENCE POL­ICY ‘A JOKE’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - NATION - Charu Su­dan Kas­turi let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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