and Technology Policy 2003
Hon'ble then President of
India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
"Today India has become one
of the strongest in the world in terms of scientific manpower in capability and
maturity. Hence, we are in a position not only to understand the technologies
that we may have to borrow, but also to create our own technologies with extensive
scientific inputs of indigenous origin. Basically we have come a long way since
our independence, from mere buyers of technology to those of who have made science
and technology as an important contributor for national development and societal
transformation. In a world where the powers are determined by their share of the
world's knowledge, reflected by patents, papers and so on, the WTO starts to play
a crucial role in the economic development. It is important for India to put all
her acts together to become a continuous innovator and creator of science and
technology intensive products".
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh
take satisfaction from the fact that over 100 global companies have come to India
to set up R&D Centres, affirming the intellectual capital of our scientific
and engineering community.
Science must grapple with the key challenges facing
the country today. These include the pressures of increasing population, greater
health risks, changing demographics, degraded natural resources, and dwindling
farmlands. We need new science and technologies, new priorities and new paradigms
to address these fundamental challenges. We in India are practising new physics
and new chemistry to make new materials. These are of direct relevance to the
Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations".
Hon'ble Minister of State for Science and Technology
& Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal
independence, the government of India has been strongly aware of both needs -
the need to build up a powerful science base, and the need to ensure that science
is not restricted to the university laboratories. Under a succession of enlightened
leaders, Indian governments have long recognised the need for any country that
aspires to call itself a modern nation to invest heavily in science and technology".
"The fruits of this foresight are now widely visible. Thanks largely
to the government's determination that the country should build a strong independent
base in science and technology, India has been able to build up a capacity in
a wide range of areas of modern technology, from software engineering to health
biotechnology. And this has placed it in a strong position to engage in the global
knowledge economy, rather than remaining on the margins".
A - PREAMBLE
Science and technology have profoundly
influenced the course of human civilization. Science has provided us remarkable
insights into the world we live in. The scientific revolutions of the 20th century
have led to many technologies, which promise to herald wholly new eras in many
fields. As we stand today at the beginning of a new century, we have to ensure
fullest use of these developments for the well being of our people.
and technology have been an integral part of Indian civilization and culture over
the past several millennia. Few are aware that India was the fountainhead of important
foundational scientific developments and approaches. These cover many great scientific
discoveries and technological achievements in mathematics, astronomy, architecture,
chemistry, metallurgy, medicine, natural philosophy and other areas. A great deal
of this traveled outwards from India. Equally, India also assimilated scientific
ideas and techniques from elsewhere, with open-mindedness and a rational attitude
characteristic of a scientific ethos. India's traditions have been founded on
the principles of universal harmony, respect for all creation and an integrated
holistic approach. This background is likely to provide valuable insights for
future scientific advances. During the century prior to Independence, there was
an awakening of modern science in India through the efforts of a number of outstanding
scientists. They were responsible for great scientific advances of the highest
In the half century since Independence, India
has been committed to the task of promoting the spread of science. The key role
of technology as an important element of national development is also well recognised.
The Scientific Policy Resolution of 1958 and the Technology Policy Statement of
1983 enunciated the principles on which the growth of science and technology in
India has been based
over the past several decades. These policies have
emphasized self-reliance, as also sustainable and equitable development. They
embody a vision and strategy that are applicable today, and would continue to
inspire us in our endeavors.
With the encouragement and support that
has been provided, there is today a sound infrastructural base for science and
technology. These include research laboratories, higher educational institutions
and highly skilled human resource. Indian capabilities in science and technology
cover an impressive range of diverse disciplines, areas of competence and of applications.
India's strength in basic research is recognized internationally. Successes in
agriculture, health care, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy, astronomy
and astrophysics, space technology and applications, defense research, biotechnology,
electronics, information technology and oceanography are widely acknowledged.
Major national achievements include very significant increase in food production,
eradication or control of several diseases and increased life expectancy of our
While these developments have been highly satisfying, one is
also aware of the dramatic changes that have taken place, and continue to do so,
in the practice of science, in technology development, and their relationships
with, and impact on, society.
Particularly striking is the rapidity
with which science and technology is moving ahead. Science is becoming increasingly
inter- and multi-disciplinary, and calls for multi-institutional and, in several
cases, multi-country participation. Major experimental facilities, even in several
areas of basic research, require very large material, human and intellectual resources.
Science and technology have become so closely intertwined, and so reinforce each
other that, to be effective, any policy needs to view them together. The continuing
revolutions in the field of information and communication technology have had
profound impact on the manner and speed with which scientific information becomes
available, and scientific interactions take place.
Science and technology
have had unprecedented impact on economic growth and social development. Knowledge
has become a source of economic might and power. This has led to increased restrictions
on sharing of knowledge, to new norms of intellectual property rights, and to
global trade and technology control regimes. Scientific and technological developments
today also have deep ethical, legal and social implications. There are deep concerns
in society about these. The ongoing globalisation and the intensely competitive
environment have a significant impact on the production and services sectors.
Because of all this, our science and technology system has to be infused
with new vitality if it is to play a decisive and beneficial role in advancing
the well being of all sections of our society. The nation continues to be firm
in its resolve to support science and technology in all its facets. It recognizes
its central role in raising the quality of life of the people of the country,
particularly of the disadvantaged sections of society, in creating wealth for
all, in making India globally competitive, in utilizing natural resources in a
sustainable manner, in protecting the environment and ensuring national security.
B - POLICY OBJECTIVES
the changing context of the scientific enterprise, and to meet present national
needs in the new era of globalisation, Government enunciates the following objectives
of its Science and Technology Policy:
- To ensure that the message
of science reaches every citizen of India, man and woman, young and old, so that
we advance scientific temper, emerge as a progressive and enlightened society,
and make it possible for all our people to participate fully in the development
of science and technology and its application for human welfare. Indeed, science
and technology will be fully integrated with all spheres of national activity.
ensure food, agricultural, nutritional, environmental, water, health and energy
security of the people on a sustainable basis.
- To mount a direct and sustained
effort on the alleviation of poverty, enhancing livelihood security, removal of
hunger and malnutrition, reduction of drudgery and regional imbalances, both rural
and urban, and generation of employment, by using scientific and technological
capabilities along with our traditional knowledge pool. This will call for the
generation and screening of all relevant technologies, their widespread dissemination
through networking and support for the vast unorganized sector of our economy.
- To vigorously foster scientific research in universities and other academic,
scientific and engineering institutions; and attract the brightest young persons
to careers in science and technology, by conveying a sense of excitement concerning
the advancing frontiers, and by creating suitable employment opportunities for
them. Also to build and maintain centres of excellence, which will raise the level
of work in selected areas to the highest international standards.
- To promote
the empowerment of women in all science and technology activities and ensure their
full and equal participation.
- To provide necessary autonomy and freedom
of functioning for all academic and R&D institutions so that an ambience for
truly creative work is encouraged, while ensuring at the same time that the science
and technology enterprise in the country is fully committed to its social responsibilities
- To use the full potential of modern science and technology
to protect, preserve, evaluate, update, add value to, and utilize the extensive
knowledge acquired over the long civilizational experience of India.
accomplish national strategic and security-related objectives, by using the latest
advances in science and technology.
- To encourage research and innovation
in areas of relevance for the economy and society, particularly by promoting close
and productive interaction between private and public institutions in science
and technology. Sectors such as agriculture (particularly soil and water management,
human and animal nutrition, fisheries), water, health, education, industry, energy
including renewable energy, communication and transportation would be accorded
highest priority. Key leverage technologies such as information technology, biotechnology
and materials science and technology would be given special importance.
substantially strengthen enabling mechanisms that relate to technology development,
evaluation, absorption and upgradation from concept to utilization.
establish an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime which maximises the incentives
for the generation and protection of intellectual property by all types of inventors.
The regime would also provide a strong, supportive and comprehensive policy environment
for speedy and effective domestic commercialisation of such inventions so as to
be maximal in the public interest.
- To ensure, in an era in which information
is key to the development of science and technology, that all efforts are made
to have high-speed access to information, both in quality and quantity, at affordable
costs; and also create digitized, valid and usable content of Indian origin.
encourage research and application for forecasting, prevention and mitigation
of natural hazards, particularly, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and landslides.
promote international science and technology cooperation towards achieving the
goals of national development and security, and make it a key element of our international
- To integrate scientific knowledge with insights from other
disciplines, and ensure fullest involvement of scientists and technologists in
national governance so that the spirit and methods of scientific enquiry permeate
deeply into all areas of public
recognized that these objectives will be best realized by a dynamic and flexible
Science and Technology Policy, which can readily adapt to the rapidly changing
world order. This Policy, reiterates India's commitment to participate as an equal
and vigorous global player in generating and harnessing advances in science and
technology for the benefit of all humankind.
C - STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION
Keeping in view these broad objectives, it is essential
to spell out an implementation strategy that will enable identification of specific
plans, programmes and projects, with clearly defined tasks, estimates of necessary
resources, and time targets. Some of the key elements of the implementation strategy
will be as follows:
1. Science and Technology
Governance and Investments
Suitable mechanism will be evolved
by which independent inputs on science and technology policy and planning are
obtained on a continuous basis from a wide cross section of scientists and technologists.
It will utilize the academies and specialized professional bodies for this purpose.
These inputs will form an integral part of the planning and implementation of
all programmes relating to science and technology, as also in government decision
making and formulation of policies in socio-economic sectors.
integration of the programmes in socio-economic sectors with R&D activities
will go a long way in ensuring a wider, more visible and tangible impact. This
will call for a certain percentage of the overall allocation of each of the socio-economic
ministries to be devoted for relevant programmes and activities in science and
technology. The States will also be encouraged and assisted in the use of science
and technology for developmental purposes through mechanisms set up for this,
and in establishing linkages with national institutions for solving their regional
and locale-specific problems.
A concerted strategy is necessary to infuse
a new sense of dynamism in our science and technology institutions. The science
departments, agencies and other academic institutions, including universities
i.e. the science and technology system as a whole, would be substantially strengthened,
given full autonomy and flexibility, and de-bureaucratized.
will be established to review on a continuous basis the academic and administrative
structures and procedures in the science and technology system at all levels,
so that reforms could be effected to meet the challenges of the changing needs.
It will be ensured that all highly science-based Ministries/Departments of
Government are run by scientists and technologists. All the major socio-economic
Ministries will have high-level scientific advisory mechanisms.
will ensure continued existence of an Apex S&T Advisory Body which will assist
in formulating and implementing various programmes and policies. It will have
appropriate representation of industry leaders, leading scientists and technologists
and various scientific departments.
Government will make necessary budgetary
commitments for higher education and science and technology. It will, through
its own resources and also through contribution by industry, raise the level of
investment to at least 2% of GDP on science and technology by the end of the Tenth
Plan. For this, it is essential for industry to steeply increase its investments
in R&D. This will enable it to be competitive, achieve greater self-reliance
and self-confidence, and fulfill national goals.
2. Optimal Utilization
of Existing Infrastructure and Competence
Science and technology
is advancing at a very fast pace, and obsolescence of physical infrastructure,
as also of skills and competence, take place rapidly. Steps will be taken to network
the existing infrastructure, investments and intellectual strengths, wherever
they exist, to achieve effective and optimal utilization, and constantly upgrade
them to meet changing needs.
3. Strengthening of the
Infrastructure for Science and Technology in Academic Institutions
major initiative to modernize the infrastructure for science and engineering in
academic institutions will be undertaken. It will be ensured that all middle and
high schools, vocational and other colleges will have appropriately sized science
laboratories. Science, engineering and medical departments in academic institutions
and universities and colleges will be selected for special support to raise the
standard of teaching and research. To begin with, a significant number of academic
institutions, specially the universities, as also engineering and medical institutions,
would be selected for this support to make an impact. Flexible mechanisms for
induction of new faculty in key areas of science would be developed. Constancy
of support and attention will be ensured over at least a ten-year period.
4. New Funding Mechanisms
for Basic Research
The setting up of more efficient funding mechanisms
will be examined, either by creating new structures or by strengthening or restructuring
the existing ones, for promotion of basic research in science, medical and engineering
institutions. In particular, administrative and financial procedures will be simplified
to permit efficient operation of research programmes in diverse institutions across
Creation of world class facilities in carefully selected
and nationally relevant fields will be undertaken, to enhance our international
competitiveness in areas where we have strengths, opportunities or natural advantages.
Indigenous expertise will be used to the maximum extent possible. This would help
in nurturing high quality talent and expertise in experimental science and engineering.
5. Human Resource Development
number of scientists and technologists, while being large in absolute numbers,
is not commensurate with the requirements in quality and when measured on a per
capita basis. The demand is bound to increase in the coming years with more intensive
activities involving science and technology. There is need to progressively increase
the rate of generation of high quality skilled human resource at all levels. This
process would naturally entail reversing the present flow of talent away from
science, by initiating new and innovative schemes to attract and nurture young
talent with an aptitude for research, and by providing assured career opportunities
in academia, industry, Government or other sectors. In order to encourage quality
and productivity in science and technology, mobility of scientists and technologists
between industry, academic institutions and research laboratories will be ensured.
For building up the human resource base in relevant areas, the agencies and
departments concerned with science and technology will make available substantial
funding from their allocation. Flexible mechanisms will be put in place in academic
and research institutions to enable researchers to change fields and bring new
inputs into traditional disciplines, and also to develop inter-disciplinary areas.
There will be emphasis on a continuing process of retraining and reskilling to
keep pace with the rapid advances taking place. Wherever considered necessary,
training abroad will be resorted to, so as to build up a skilled base rapidly.
Women constitute almost half the population of the country. They must be
provided significantly greater opportunities for higher education and skills that
are needed to take up R&D as a career. For this, new procedures, and flexibility
in rules and regulations, will be introduced to meet their special needs.
New mechanisms would be instituted to facilitate the return of scientists
and technologists of Indian origin to India, as also their networking, to contribute
to Indian science and technology.
Schemes for continuing education and training
of university and college teachers in contemporary research techniques and in
emerging areas of science will be strengthened and new innovative programmes started.
It will also be ensured that higher education is available to the widest
possible section of creative students, transcending social and economic barriers.
6. Technology Development,
Transfer and Diffusion
A strong base of science and engineering
research provides a crucial foundation for a vibrant programme of technology development.
Priority will be placed on the development of technologies which address the basic
needs of the population; make Indian industries - small, medium or large - globally
competitive; make the country economically strong; and address the security concerns
of the nation. Special emphasis will be placed on equity in development, so that
the benefits of technological growth reach the majority of the population, particularly
the disadvantaged sections, leading to an improved quality of life for every citizen
of the country. These aspects require technology foresight, which involves not
only forecasting and assessment of technologies but also their social, economic
and environmental consequences.
The growth rate in productivity of the
Indian economy has been below its true potential, and the contribution to it of
technological factors is inadequate. Similarly, Indian exports today derive their
comparative advantage through resource and labour rather than through the power
of technological innovation. The transformation of new ideas into commercial successes
is of vital importance to the nation's ability to achieve high economic growth
and global competitiveness. Accordingly, special emphasis will be given not only
to R&D and the technological factors of innovation, but also to the other
equally important social, institutional and market factors needed for adoption,
diffusion and transfer of innovation to the productive sectors.
efforts will be launched to develop innovative technologies of a breakthrough
nature; and to increase our share of high-tech products. Aggressive international
bench-marking will be carried out. Simultaneously, efforts will be made to strengthen
traditional industry so as to meet the new requirements of competition through
the use of appropriate science and technology. This industry is particularly important
as it provides employment at lower per capita investment, involves low energy
inputs, and carries with it unique civilizational traditions and culture. Value
addition, and creation of wealth through reassessment, redistribution and repositioning
of our intellectual, capital and material resource will be achieved through effective
use of science and technology.
Deriving value from technology-led exports
and export of technologies will be facilitated through new policy initiatives,
incentives and legislation. This will include intensive networking of capabilities
and facilities within the country.
Rigid Quality Standards, and Accreditation
of testing and calibration laboratories according to international requirements,
will be given an enhanced push to enable Indian industry to avoid non-tariff barriers
in global trade.
A comprehensive and well-orchestrated programme relating
to education, R&D and training in all aspects of technology management will
be launched. To begin with, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institutes
of Technology (IITs) and other selected institutions will be encouraged to initiate
7. Promotion of Innovation
will be supported in all its aspects. A comprehensive national system of innovation
will be created covering science and technology as also legal, financial and other
related aspects. There is need to change the ways in which society and economy
performs, if innovation has to fructify.
8. Industry and Scientific
Every effort will be made to achieve synergy between
industry and scientific research. Autonomous Technology Transfer Organizations
will be created as associate organizations of universities and national laboratories
to facilitate transfer of the know-how generated to industry. Increased encouragement
will be given, and flexible mechanisms will be evolved to help, scientists and
technologists to transfer the know-how generated by them to the industry and be
a partner in receiving the financial returns. Industry will be encouraged to financially
adopt or support educational and research institutions, fund courses of interest
to them, create professional chairs etc. to help direct S&T endeavours towards
tangible industrial goals.
There has to be increased investments by industry
in R&D in its own interest to achieve global competitiveness to be efficient
and relevant. Efforts by industry to carry out R&D, either in-house or through
outsourcing, will be supported by fiscal and other measures. To increase their
investments in R&D, innovative mechanisms will be evolved.
9. Indigenous Resources
and Traditional Knowledge
Indigenous knowledge, based on our
long and rich tradition, would be further developed and harnessed for the purpose
of wealth and employment generation. Innovative systems to document, protect,
evaluate and to learn from India's rich heritage of traditional knowledge of the
natural resources of land, water and bio-diversity will be strengthened and enlarged.
Development of technologies that add value to India's indigenous resources and
which provide holistic and optimal solutions that are suited to Indian social-cultural-economic
ethos will be developed.A concerted plan to intensify research on traditional
systems of medicine, so as to contribute to fundamental advances in health care,
and leading to commercialisation of effective products will be undertaken; appropriate
norms of validation and standardization will be enforced. A purposeful programme
to enhance the Indian share of the global herbal product market will be initiated.
10. Technologies for
Mitigation and Management of Natural Hazards
Science and technology
has an important role in any general strategy to address the problems of mitigation
and management of the impacts of natural hazards. A concerted action plan to enhance
predictive capabilities and preparedness for meeting emergencies arising from
floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought, landslides and avalanches will be drawn
up. Measures will be undertaken to promote research on natural phenomena that
lead to disasters and human activities that aggravate them. This will be with
a view to developing practical technological solutions for pre-disaster preparedness,
and mitigation and management of post- disaster situations.
11. Generation and Management
of Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR),
have to be viewed, not as a self-contained and distinct domain, but rather as
an effective policy instrument that would be relevant to wide ranging socio-economic,
technological and political concepts. The generation and fullest protection of
competitive intellectual property from Indian R&D programmes will be encouraged
The process of globalisation is leading to situations
where the collective knowledge of societies normally used for common good is converted
to proprietary knowledge for commercial profit of a few. Action will be taken
to protect our indigenous knowledge systems, primarily through national policies,
supplemented by supportive international action. For this purpose, IPR systems
which specially protect scientific discoveries and technological innovations arising
out of such traditional knowledge will be designed and effectively implemented.
Our legislation with regard to Patents, Copyrights and other forms of
Intellectual Property will ensure that maximum incentives are provided for individual
inventors, and to our scientific and technological community, to undertake large
scale and rapid commercialization, at home and abroad.
of skills and competence to manage IPR and leveraging its influence will be given
a major thrust. This is an area calling for significant technological insights
and legal expertise and will be handled differently from the present, and with
12. Public Awareness
of Science and Technology
There is growing need to enhance
public awareness of the importance of science and technology in everyday life,
and the directions where science and technology is taking us. People must be able
to consider the implications of emerging science and technology options in areas
which impinge directly upon their lives, including the ethical and moral, legal,
social and economic aspects. In recent years, advances in biotechnology and information
technology have dramatically increased public interest in technology options in
wide ranging areas. Scientific work and policies arising from these have to be
highly transparent and widely understood.
Support for wide dissemination
of scientific knowledge, through the support of science museums, planetaria, botanical
gardens and the like, will be enhanced. Every effort will be made to convey to
the young the excitement in scientific and technological advances and to instill
scientific temper in the population at large. Special support will be provided
for programmes that seek to popularize and promote science and technology in all
parts of the country. Programmes will also be developed to promote learning and
dissemination of science through the various national languages, to enable effective
science communication at all levels.
A closer interaction of those involved
in the natural sciences and technology, social sciences, humanities and other
scholarly pursuits will be facilitated to bring about mutual reinforcement, added
value and impact.
13. International Science
and Technology Cooperation
Scientific research and technology
development can benefit greatly by international cooperation and collaboration.
Common goals can be effectively addressed by pooling both material and intellectual
resources. International collaborative programmes, especially those contributing
directly to our scientific development and security objectives, will be encouraged
between academic institutions and national laboratories in India and their counterparts
in all parts of the world, including participation in mega science projects as
equal partners. Special emphasis will be placed on collaborations with other developing
countries, and particularly neighbouring countries, with whom India shares many
common problems. International collaboration in science and technology would be
fully used to further national interests as an important component of foreign
14. Fiscal Measures
fiscal measures are critical to ensure successful implementation of the policy
objectives. New methods are required for incentivising R&D activities, particularly
in industry. New strategies have to be formulated for attracting higher levels
of public and private investments in scientific and technological development.
A series of both tax and non-tax fiscal instruments have to be evolved to ensure
a leap-frogging process of development. The formulation of a focused strategy
and the designing of new methods and instruments requires inputs from economists,
financial experts and management experts and scientists. For this purpose, the
apex S&T advisory body will constitute a dedicated task-force to suggest appropriate
fiscal measures to subserve the policy objectives.
expeditious, transparent and science-based monitoring and reviewing mechanisms
will be significantly strengthened, and wherever not available will be put in
place. It will be ensured that the scientific community is involved in, and responsible
for, smooth and speedy implementation.
16. The New Vision
build a new and resurgent India that continues to maintain its strong democratic
and spiritual traditions, that remains secure not only militarily but also socially
and economically, it is important to draw on the many unique civilizational qualities
that define the inner strength of India; this has been intrinsically based on
an integrated and holistic view of nature and of life. The Science and Technology
Policy 2003 will be implemented so as to be in harmony with our world view of
the larger human family all around. It will ensure that science and technology
truly uplifts the Indian people and indeed all of humanity.