STI policy would position India among top five global scientific powers by 2020: PM

Kolkata, Jan 3 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said that the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy 2013 aspires to make India one of the top five global scientific powers by 2020.

Addressing the 100th Indian Science Congress here, Dr. Singh said: "The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy - 2013 released here today aspires to position India among the top five global scientific powers by the year 2020. It is an ambitious goal. It aims to produce and nurture talent in science, to stimulate research in our universities, to develop young leaders in the field of science, to reward performance, to create a policy environment for greater private sector participation in research and innovation and to forge international alliances and collaborations to meet the national agenda."

"The Twelfth Five Year Plan, which was approved by the NDC a few days ago, outlines a number of initiatives which will make this possible," he said.

Dr. Singh said 'an important step in this direction in the Eleventh Plan was the establishment of the National Science and Engineering Research Board as an autonomous funding body'

"As pointed out in the Twelfth Plan, this institution proposes to invest in researches of proven track record and establish about 200 to 250 centres based on a grant model with performance reward linkages," he added.

Dr. Singh also stressed the need for innovation and experiment in the field of science and technology for rapid and inclusive growth.

"Since technological changes typically emanate from established structures, they may at times re-inforce them and inhibit the advancement of equity and equality. As India seeks a sustained growth of its national income, we must endeavour to harness the tools of science to cater to the needs of the underprivileged and to bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots," he said.

The Prime Minister further said the transformation of agriculture must be top priority of public policies, including science and technology.

"Nearly 65 percent of our people live in rural areas. The increase in their living standards depends greatly on the growth of agricultural production and productivity. The Twelfth Five Year Plan assumes that a sustained growth of our agriculture at the rate of 4 percent per annum is essential for the achievement of food security for our country," Dr. Singh said.

"This growth is constrained by shortages of water and also of land. We need new breakthroughs in water-saving technologies of cultivation, enhancement of land productivity and development of climate-resilient varieties. This transformation of agriculture must be the top priority concern of our public policies, including science and technology policies," he added. (ANI)

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