NEW DELHI: Concerned over China outpacing India in the science and technology sector, Niti Aayog has recommended constituting a national Science, Technology and Innovation foundation headed by a distinguished scientist to coordinate efforts on national scale and come out with a roadmap.
The suggestion has been made in the three-year (2017-2020) draft action plan which was put online for public consultation.
The draft plan observed that India has been greatly outpaced by China in the Science and technology sector,Niti Aayog’s document highlighted that patents filed and granted abroad offer a good indicator of the gap that appeared between India and China between 2011 and 2015.
As per the document, in 2011, the number of patent applications filed abroad by Indian and Chinese residents was 1077 and 1197 respectively. But by 2015 a huge gap had emerged with 11,265 patent applications by India compared to 42,154 by China.
“In terms of patents granted abroad, India improved its global rank from 27th to 15th over the same years and China from 25th to 8th. To be sure, India has made substantial progress but China’s advance has been far faster. Transformation in India’s S&T sector would require rapid progress over the next 15 years,” the action plan added.
As per Niti Aayog’s draft plan, the foundation should be set up in 2017 itself and should be headed by a distinguished scientist. The foundation should coordinate all S&T efforts with all stakeholders.
The foundation will coordinate with science and technology, departments, concerned line ministries, State governments, academics and researchers, private sector leaders in the field and other stakeholders to identify and deliberate national issues, recommend priority interventions in S&T and prepare frameworks for their implementation.
The draft action plan also said that Indian innovations should address the needs of burgeoning middle class and rural residents.
“We must facilitate the development of affordable and durable products that are suitable for the local demand and context,” it added.