Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims
Why in news?
The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (Office of PSA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have jointly initiated a decentralized, bottom-up, and inclusive process for the formulation of a new national Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020).
- The fifth S&T policy of India is being formulated at a crucial juncture when India and the world are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This is only the latest among the many important changes in the past decade that have necessitated formulation of a new outlook and strategy for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
- The STI Policy for the new India will also integrate the lessons of COVID-19 including building of an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self- reliance).
Science and Technology Policy (STP), A History
- Since our independence in 1947, India has been successful in building a massive ecosystem of science, technology and innovation (STI). An STI ecosystem includes universities, public and private enterprises, and human resources.
- Scientific Policy Resolution (SPR 1958): Our first major science policy can be traced back to the year 1958. The policy document was drafted by the government of the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. SPR1958 laid the foundation of scientific enterprise and scientific temper in India.
- Technology Policy Statement (TPS 1983): Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi had announced the Technology Policy Statement (TPS) at the Science Congress in January 1983. It focused on the need to attain technological competence and self-reliance. Several of the statements of TPS were implemented.
- Science, Technology Policy (STP 2003): With rapid advancement in information and communication technologies and the democratisation of the internet, exchange of knowledge and information was occurring at a previously unseen rate.Subsequently, a Science and Technology Policy (STP) was announced in 2003, seeking to bring science and technology (S&T) together. It basically called for integrating programmes of socio-economic sectors with the national R&D system and the creation of a national innovation system.
- Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2013): The decade of 2010 to 2020 was declared as a decade of innovation, and as the name suggests, a critical new element in this policy document was the term “innovation”. Promoting a science and technology-led innovation ecosystem in the country and broadly linking science, technology and innovation to socio-economic priorities were some of the key aspects of STIP 2013. This policy also resulted in India’s increased participation in global mega-science initiatives such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the Large Hadron Collider (LHC — CERN).