India charts out its progress for the next five-year period
On December 27, 2012, as another year came to a close, the Indian government approved a plan that would chart the course of the country's development in the next five years.
The 12th Five Year Plan document is an opus that looks across sectors and stakeholders for the country' s overall progress-economic, industrial as well as social. In the report for the development of the nation's economy over the next five year period, the Planning Commission hopes to achieve an average growth rate of 8 percent, marginally higher than the current 7.9 percent at the end of the 11th Plan period.
Aiming to improve science and technology in the country, the Plan calls for an increase in research and development (R&D) expenditure to 2 percent of GDP and significantly enhance corporate sector R&D expenditure to at least 1 percent of GDP. This target is to be achieved by about 1 percent in the public sector and 1 percent in the corporate sector, including public sector undertakings (PSUs). It also calls for earmarking 10-15 percent of public investment (across all six departments of the science sector) exclusively for public-private partnership (PPP) R&D through the competitive grant process with a stipulation that comparable provisions would be made by the private sector under PPP model.
In the 11th Five Year Plan, though the outlay for the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) was Rs 6,389 crore, the anticipated expenditure at the end of the period has only been Rs 4,832.24 crore. An indicative Plan outlay of Rs 11,804 crore at current prices for the 12th Five Year has been made for the DBT, which is a 84 percent jump from the previous Plan. Emphasis would be given for connecting the state councils for science and technology (S&T) to R&D organizations like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and so on.