New Delhi: India is set to unveil its new science policy next week which lays greater thrust on innovation, establishing research institutes, encouraging women scientists with an aim to positioning itself among the top five scientific powers in the world by 2020.
The Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, 2013, will be released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January three at the centenary edition of the Indian Science Congress in Kolkata.
"The proposed STI policy seeks to focus on both STI for people and people for STI," officials said.
The document is a revision of the 2003 policy which sought to bring science and technology together and emphasised on the need for higher investment into Research and Development (R&D) to address national problems.
"The (STI) policy also seeks to trigger an ecosystem for innovative abilities to flourish by leveraging partnerships among diverse stakeholders and by encouraging and facilitating enterprises to invest in innovations," the officials said.
The Union Cabinet is expected to approve the STI Policy at its meeting scheduled on Wednesday.
The policy also aims at positioning India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020.
The officials said the aim of the policy is to accelerate the pace of discovery, diffusion and delivery of science-led solutions for serving the aspirational goals of India for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The key features of the STI Policy, 2013 include making careers in science, research and innovation attractive and establishing world-class infrastructure for R&D for gaining global leadership in some select frontier areas of science.
The policy also includes linking contributions of science, research and innovation system with the inclusive economic growth agenda and combining priorities of excellence and relevance.
The policy also stresses on creating an environment for enhanced private sector participation in R&D, enabling conversion of R&D outputs into societal and commercial applications by replicating successful models as well as establishing of new public-private partnership structures.
The officials said the policy would strengthen the R&D base of the country through proper funding, development and utilisation of technologies, building entrepreneurship, mounting mission mode initiatives and rejuvenating research in universities.
India first unveiled its Scientific Policy Resolution in 1958 which resolved to "foster, promote and sustain" the cultivation of science and scientific research in all its aspects.
"Technology was then assumed to flow from the country's diversified science infrastructure," the officials said. The Technology Policy Statement of 1983 focussed on the need to attain technological competence and self-reliance, they said.
The Science and Technology Policy of 2003 sought to bring science and technology (S&T) together, they said.
They said that in today's world, innovation was no longer a mere appendage to S&T but has assumed centre-stage in its own right in the development of countries around the world.