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Draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020

  • 02 Jan 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the draft of the 5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) has been uploaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on its website.

Key Points

  • Aim:
    • To bring about profound changes through short, medium and long-term mission mode projects by building a nurtured ecosystem that promotes research and innovation on the part of both individuals and organizations.
    • To identify and address strengths and weaknesses of the Indian Science Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystem to catalyse socio-economic development of the country and also make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.
  • Important Provisions:
    • Related to Equity and Inclusion:
      • Gender Equality:
        • It proposes that at least 30% representation be ensured for women in all decision-making bodies, as well as “spousal benefits” be provided to partners of scientists belonging to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) community.
        • The LGBTQ+ community should be included in all conversations related to gender equity, and provisions be made to safeguard their rights and promote their representation and retention in the science and technology sector.
      • Child and Elderly Care:
        • Child-care benefits are proposed to be made gender-neutral, and flexible work timings and adequate parental leave are to be offered to cater to maternity, childbirth and child care.
        • All publicly-funded research institutions and universities will be asked to provide day-care centres for children of employees, and also have a provision for elderly care.
      • For Disabled:
        • For the benefit of people with disabilities, the policy asks all publicly-funded scientific institutions to make “structural and cultural changes” to support their inclusion.
      • Other Related Provisions:
        • For age-related cut-offs in matters relating to selection, promotion, awards or grants, the “academic age” and not the biological age would be considered.
        • Removal of bars on married couples being employed in the same department or laboratory.
          • As of now, married couples are not posted in the same department, leading to cases of loss of employment or forced transfers when colleagues decide to get married.
    • Open Science Policy (One Nation, One Subscription): To make scientific knowledge and data available to all, the government has proposed:
      • To buy bulk subscriptions of all important scientific journals across the world, and provide everyone in India free access to them.
      • To set up a Science, Technology and Innovation Observatory that will serve as the central repository of all kinds of data generated from scientific research in the country.
    • Research and Education:
      • It proposes to establish Education Research Centres (ERCs) and Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) to provide research inputs to policymakers and bring together stakeholders.
      • Research and Innovation Excellence Frameworks (RIEF) will be developed to enhance the quality of research along with the promotion of engagements with the relevant stakeholders.
      • A dedicated portal to provide access to the outputs of such publicly-funded research will be created through the Indian Science and Technology Archive of Research (INDSTA).
      • To set up Infrastructure to boost local Research and Development capabilities and reduce large scale import in selected sectors of domestic importance such as electronic hardware for home appliances, railways, intelligent transport, clean tech, defence, etc.
    • For Strengthening India's Strategic Position:
      • To achieve technological self-reliance and position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come.
      • To double the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) researchers, Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD) and private sector contribution to the GERD every 5 years.
      • Establishment of a Strategic Technology Board that will bridge all strategic government departments, and monitor and recommend technologies to be bought or indigenously made.

Source:PIB

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