Science And Technology Initiatives In India- A Profile

1. Over the last 60 years, particularly after Independence, the successive Governments have encouraged Research and Development in several areas of importance and one can say that it is the Government funding that has sustained the growth of Science and Technology in the country. Certain scientific research organisations like CSIR, ICAR, ICMR and DRDO have specialised research laboratories spread all over the country and their achievements and contributions towards the national objective are reported and placed on the table of the Parliament annually. In addition, there are many new Departments, sometimes grouped under a certain Ministry, having specially designed mechanisms to support science and technology in the country, such as: the Ministry of Science and Technology (with Department of Science and Technology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Biotechnology); Ministry of Earth Sciences; Departments of Atomic Energy and Space. Many of these Departments also support research organisations either directly or indirectly. Further, there are many research organisations under other Ministries, such as Railways, Power, Irrigation and Industry.

2. Over a period of time Industry has been encouraged to set up their own
in-house R&D centres. Many cooperative research institutions have also been established which work under the administrative control of certain Ministries who have resources generated through mechanisms like Tax Concessions, Cess, Excise or others.

3. Currently, the estimated annual R&D expenditure in the country is of the order of over Rs.20,000 crores, of which the substantial part, perhaps of the order of 80%, is provided by the Government.

4. Since many of these Research Centres work under different administrative Ministries, it is not easy for one to get an overall picture of S&T activities in the country and its absence has been felt in certain situations. In a recent assignment given to the Waterfalls Institute of Technology Transfer by the International S&T Division of the Department of Science and Technology, it was felt that a compilation giving broad outlines of the work carried out in the country as a whole could be assembled in one volume so that it could serve identified useful purposes. In particular, it was felt that many visitors who come to the Ministry of Science and Technology often have incorrect notions that all the activities of Science and Technology in the country are coordinated by this Ministry.

5. The impact of the advances in Science & Technology in India since Independence in 1947 has been quite impressive in that it has played a key role in meaningfully contributing to the changes in the policies of the Government as a whole, covering Communications, Education, Health Care, Food Production, Defense, Foreign Exchange Control, Imports & Exports, Industrial Policy and Transportation to mention a few. This book therefore focuses on the Initiatives taken in India on Science & Technology policies and in evolving new measures and mechanisms over a period of time in the programs being pursued in the different Ministries and Departments.

6. This compilation is broadly arranged in fifteen chapters, the first chapter is a [brief statement of basic facts about our country leading to the administrative set -up and indicating the allocation of different subjects assigned to Ministries and departments]. Chapter 2 deals with Science and Technology Set-up; Chapter 3 with Department of Science and Technology; Chapter 4 and 5 with Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and Departments of Biotechnology; Chapters 6 and 7 cover Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space; Chapters 8,9 and 10 deal with Earth Sciences, New and Renewable Energy and Information Technology respectively; Chapters 11,12,13 and 14 relate to Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Defence Research Development Organisation, Indian Council of Medical Research and University Grants Commission respectively; and finally Chapter 15 covers R&D in other Ministries. Several annexures give background information or sources from which more information can be obtained.

7. The material assembled here has been taken from many annual reports (upto 2007-08) of different Departments and Ministries. While on the one hand, this will enable accurate information in the compilation, it could result in some data being.