India now ranks third in terms of the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions globally, which definitely infers that scientific realms in India have progressed a lot. In the 21st Century, India has found its place amongst the top countries in scientific research. For instance, in space exploration, with its moon missions and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), India has climbed up in the top five nations for space research globally.
According to the Global innovation index (2020), India ranks 48th overall in terms of innovation and ranks amongst the top 15 nations in Information and Communication Technology and R&D-intensive global companies.
In terms of market size, the expenditure in research and development has reached US$ 96.50 billion in 2020, with almost 2% country’s GDP share. India has introduced various funding policies that empower the nation to improve its key strategic industries, including space, energy, and the life sciences. Energy is one of India’s growing areas, which is currently receiving a considerable extent of focus. The Indian scientist has recently collaborated with the United States on an Indo-US initiative called the Solar Energy Research Institute for India (funded through the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy.
The twenty-first century has also seen a boom in various technology business incubators that plans to grow budding ideas, thus connecting ideation to commercialization. In terms of the burgeoning artificial intelligence, India has made progress with the inception of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NITI Aayog), thereby paving the way for exploring the potential of artificial intelligence.
Although we have access to funding for scientific developments, education should also evolve simultaneously to complement the scientific shooting. China graduates some 20,000 PhDs annually, and India must develop its educational thrust to compete with these countries. Programs such as the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) program has accelerated the growth of quality scientists post-2000, thereby raising the question- ‘Can we improve this further?’
In India, a majority of the students opt for technology rather than studying basic sciences due to the lucrative industrial career opportunities. India needs to work on this part to inspire and motivate young talents to take up basic sciences, thereby driving the country’s primary research thurst. The establishment of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research is one of the efforts to nurture the basic sciences at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Several universities ( for instance, The University of Calcutta) offer post-BSc-B.Tech programs that aim to provide the students with both the perspectives of Science and technology.
With the focus on Science, India is progressively marching towards becoming a global leader in industrialization and technological development. The advent of nanotechnology in India shall also result in not only the biomedical sector but also the nuclear sector to evolve. India’s new plan, called Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020, plans to promote Science more effectively and experts-driven. As both challenges and hope lie ahead for India, our developments’ optimism shall steer our spotlight from ‘challenges’ to ‘hope’ soon.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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