India's R&D investment a mere 0.88% of GDP

The union government has quoted statistics upto 2011 to reveal that India lags behind China and other nations within BRICS. It now wants to increase research spending by upto 2 percent by the end of 12th plan

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The Indian government plans to achieve this target, provided the private sector increases its R&D investment to match the public sector.

The union government as per the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI) 2013, plans to increase investment in Research and Development (R&D) as percentage of GDP to 2 percent by the end of 12th plan period, from the current level of 0.88 percent. This was stated by union minister of state for science and technology, Dr Jitendra Singh in parliament on July 16, 2014.

"The government plans to achieve this target, provided the private sector increases its R&D investment to at least match the public sector R&D investment. STI Policy has accordingly enumerated several measures such as various policy changes, increase in investment in R&D including by industry and strategic sectors, extension of basic science infrastructure, new models for public private partnership, and encouraging international collaborations, etc," mentioned Dr Singh.

Currently India at 0.88 percent lags behind China (1.70), Brazil (1.17), and Russia (1.25) as per the UNESCO Data Centre (data extracted on 11 July, 2014) and R&D Statistics, 2011-12 of Department of Science and Technology. While the data for the years beyond 2011 is not available for India and other BRICS countries, it is believed to remain almost unchanged or not be significant shift.

While the minister mentioned that there is no proposal to introduce schemes to encourage novel research by universities, he, however, pointed that already several schemes such as Promotion of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (PURSE), Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE), Fund for Improvement of S&T infrastructures in Universities and Higher Institutions (FIST), Patent Acquisition and Collaborative Research and Technology Development (PACE), etc. are being run by the ministry of science and technology to foster and encourage novel research in universities.

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