HYDERABAD: Ahead of the presentation of Union Budget in the Parliament on Friday, NITI Aayog member and former DRDO chief Dr VK Saraswat said on Thursday that the government should increase its spending on Research and Development (R&D) from the current 0.8 per cent to at least two per cent of the total GDP. “This would aid the country’s economic growth,” he stated.
“As a member of Science and Technology in the NITI Aayog, I have always been saying that India’s investment in R&D has to go up. Only then can we see a substantial increase in our Intellectual Property Rights, innovation and competition -- all important factors for economic growth,” he stated. Saraswat added that there are some countries spending more than two per cent of their GDP, even up to four per cent, on research and development.
Dr Saraswat was speaking on the sidelines of the second edition of India Conference on ‘Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition’ held at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. He also pointed out that the Indian micro, small and medium enterprises are lagging in research and development, thus preventing them from innovation that can be translated into economic gains. “MSMEs, or even industries in general, do not have a strong R&D base in India. That is why the number of innovations that come from academic institutions or national laboratories are far more than the MSMEs or industries. The former spaces have much better ecosystem,” he stated.
Dr Saraswat informed that the NITI Aayog has formulated draft policies on Artificial Intelligence, called ‘AI Mission’, and that they are under circulation among various departments for their views. Speaking on the essentiality of converting innovation into economic success, Dr Saraswat said: “The definition of innovation today is very loose. Many people think if you do something -- some discovery -- you could call it an invention. But what matters is how much earning you have made out of it, how much value you have added to the market.”