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Invent in India

  • Published
    15th Sep, 2023

Context:

The organizations that help turn scientific knowledge into wealth through technology need significant improvements to boost India's economy.

India's Potential in Science and Technology

  • Growing Economy, Lagging Innovation: India, as the world's fifth-largest economy, aims to rise further but faces a lag in innovation, science, and technology compared to its economic size.
  • Historical Shortcomings: The underperformance in these fields results from academia and industry not contributing sufficiently to national research and development (R&D) efforts.
  • Positive Signs: Correcting past errors, India has seen the "Make in India" campaign gain momentum, increasing global merchandise exports. Additionally, efforts to improve patent infrastructure and bilateral agreements in science and technology reflect strategic priorities.

Building Momentum for "Invent in India"

  • National Research Foundation's Role: The newly established National Research Foundation (NRF) is expected to address the need for significant changes in institutions facilitating the conversion of scientific knowledge into wealth.
  • Reforms' Urgency: India, with its rich human capital, has underperformed in science and technology.
  • Critical Parameters for Overhaul: Three key parameters should guide the overhaul: prioritizing merit and quality in human capital, integrating teaching and research, and implementing a barbell strategy for funding research projects.

Implementing Reforms in Science Culture

  • Merit and Quality Emphasis: Reforms must prioritize human capital's merit and quality for staffing and administration in scientific institutions. Retaining top talent and attracting global talent is vital.
  • Integrating Teaching and Research: Research labs should collaborate with universities and science parks to bridge the gap between teaching and research, fostering a merit-driven admissions system.
  • Cultural Reboot: The culture of science should promote collegiality, controlled risk-taking, and impartial peer review to encourage innovation and quality.
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