Making his point Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for human resource development
Mr Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for human resource development, has suggested that the private sector should ask universities to
undertake research on an industry-related idea and their R&D efforts could be rewarded by absorbing the student-innovators in companies sponsoring the research.
Tharoor was speaking at the ‘Global R&D Summit 2013 - Destination
India' organized by Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with department of science and technology (DST), government of India at New Delhi on July 25, 2013. . He said that India ranked poorly in terms of global R&D expenditure. While the figure was 33 per cent for the US, 24.5 per cent for Europe, 12.5 per cent for China and Japan , India's R&D spend was a meager 2.1 per cent for India. Also, FDI flows into R&D in India stood at 0.5%, according to a Wharton report published in 2005.
Dr Tharoor ascribed this situation to the fact that "for far too long we have taken the complacent view of the role of R&D in nation building."
"The challenges of the 21st century for India were tackling the demand for food and water and eradicating poverty and illiteracy," he said and added that several Bill pertaining to education were pending in Parliament. These needed to be debated and passed by the two houses. Once this happens India's education sector, including technical education, will undergo a sea change.
On the occasion, Dr. Tharoor released the FICCI-Battelle Knowledge Paper on 'India's Emerging Competitiveness as Destination of Global R&D'.
Dr R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in his keynote address emphasised the need to put R&D high on the national agenda, backed by high quality manufacturing skills and leveraging international cooperation to reap the advantages of the third industrial revolution.
He said that India was beginning to realise that it not enough to get proven technologies, a synonym for obsolete technology and the benefits that can be reaped from being the first mover in the R&D space.
Dr. Chidambaram said the third industrial revolution that is being witnessed now is bring driven by the internet, digital manufacturing and other advanced technologies as also by the desire to develop green technologies.Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, who gave the theme address,pointed out that the need of the hour was to convert knowledge into wealth. He said that majority of research was currently focussed on achieving excellence.It was important to channelise the fruits of technological excellence into the prosperity
of the people.