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 at the beginning of a new century, we have to ensure fullest use of these developments for the well being of our people. Science and technology have been an integral part of Indian civilization and culture over the past several millennia.
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. 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.
Recognizing 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:
i. 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.
ii. To ensure food, agricultural, nutritional, environmental, water, health and energy security of the people on a sustainable basis.
iii. 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.
iv. To vigorously foster scientific research in universities and other academic, scientific and engineering institutions; and attract the brightest young person’s to careers in science and technology, by conveying a sense of excitement concerning the advancing frontiers, and by creating suitable employment opportunities for them.
v. Frontiers, and by creating suitable employment opportunities for them.
vi. To promote the empowerment of women in all science and technology activities and ensure their full and equal participation.
vii. 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 and commitments.
viii. 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.
ix. To accomplish national strategic and security-related objectives, by using the latest advances in science and technology.
x. 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, and education, and 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.
xi. To substantially strengthen enabling mechanisms that relate to technology development, evaluation, absorption and up gradation from concept to utilization.
xii. To establish an Intellectual Property Rights (1PR) regime which maximises the incentives for the generation and protection of intellectual property by all types of inventors?
xiii. 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.
xiv. To encourage research and application for forecasting, prevention and mitigation of natural hazards, particularly, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and landslides.
xv. To promote international science and technology cooperation towards achieving the goals of national development and security, and make it a key element of our international relations.
xvi. 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 policy making.