1. Timeline
  3. Key features of the STI policy 2013
  4. Criticism


  • India’s first Scientific Policy Resolution.
  • New policy. focused on the need to attain technological competence and self reliance.
2003 This new policy wanted to

  1. Bring science and technology together
  2. Bring higher investment into R&D to address national problems.
  • Yet another science-tech policy. (made by Department of Science and Technology).
  • India has declared this as “decade of innovation”


  • Goal of new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI) policy = SRISHTI.
  • SRISHTI= Science, Research and innovation system for High technology led path for India. (that is not SRISHTI….that is SRISHTLPFI, but these Government officials will forcibly turn any scheme into a catchy phrase to harass the UPSC aspirants.)

STI 2013 policy

  1. Released in the Indian Science Congress at Kolkata.
  2. use STI for faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth
  3. focus on both STI for people and people for STI.
  4. We will position India among the top five global scientific powers by 2020
  5. We’ll release more research papers.
  6. We’ll Encourage private sector to invest in Research and Development (R&D)
  7. We’ll Achieve gender parity in S&T. (meaning bring more female scientists)
  8. Global cooperation, science diplomacy.

Key features of the STI policy 2013

#1: Cash power

  • Average globle investment in Sci-tech-innovation = >1 trillion dollar (2009)
  • While India barely spends around 1% of its GDP in research, Development, innovation.
  • Therefore, Policy says, we’ll increase the spending in sci-tech-innovation to 2% in next five years.
  • HOW?= via private sector participation, PPP.
  • To increase the private sector investment in R&D, we’ll create a conductive environment (meaning we’ll increase FDI, we’ll give private cos tax reliefs, we’ll reform the IPR regulations and so on).

#2: Manpower

  • We’ll promote the spread of scientific temper amongst all sections of society.
  • We’ll try to attract talented and bright minds towards careers in science, research and innovation.
  • We’ll increase the number of R&D personnel by 66% in next five years.
  • We’ll create environment for women to enter in R&D field.
  • we’ll setup inter university centers= bringing together different disciplines of humanities and science together.

#3: Business

  • We’ll identify 10 sectors of high potential and put more resources into it for S&T.
  • India’s share in high tech products is around 8% globally. We want to double this.
  • We’ll increase R&D intentsity in Service sector, small and medium scale enterprises.
  • The investment in S&T is risky. So, We (Government) will share the risk with private sector, this will increase their confidence.
  • We’ll provide new financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs (=loans at cheaper interest rate) so they can venture in R&D without the fear of failure.
  • We’ll create a public procurement policy that favors indigenous innovations. (for example, if new type of pencil is developed by Indians and S.Koreans, then Government departments will buy Indian pencils rather than Korean pencils)
  • We’ll achieve synergy between R&D policy for agriculture vs. STI policy.

#4: Climate change

  • We already Development National Action plan for Climate Change (NAPCC). The STI policy will play active role in this.

#5: PPP

  • We’ll setup a National science, Technology and innovation foundation. This will help investing in S&T projects via PPP.
  • We’ll setup large scale R&D facilities via PPP mode.
  • When it comes to giving public funds, we’ll treat private sector R&D institutions at par with public sector institutions.

#6: IPR

  • We’ll modify the Intellectual property rights(IPR) for social goods, IPR generated under PPP.
  • We’ll launch Technology business incubators (TBIs) and science-led entrepreneurship.
  • We’ll provide incentives for green manufacturing.
  • For sharing IPRs between Investors and inventors, we’ll setup regulatory and legal framework.

#7: Participation


  • We’ll increase accessibility, availability and affordability of innovations, especially for women, differently-abled and disadvantaged sections of society.


  • We’ll give NGOs pivotal role for delivery science-tech-innovation outputs especially related with rural / grassroot level.
  • Lot of new grassroot innovations are taking place, but they donot transform into commercial applications, we’ll try to bridge this gap.
  • Various ministries associated with socio-economic sectors, are already running schemes for R&D in their sector. Under new STI policy, we’ll try to leverage and coordinate these spending.

State Governments

  • State Governments are important stakeholders, so we’ll setup state specific plans under new STI policy and we’ll also strengthen the Sci-Tech councils / boards in the States.
  • Centrally developed plans for investments are rigid. We’ll provide flexible approach, to fine-tune Five year plan schemes in response to rapid changes in S&T.


  • We’ll forge strategic partnerships and alliances with other nations through both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in science, technology and innovation.
  • Modern science requires truckload of resources. So we’ll setup some international consortia with other countries to create high cost global infrastructure.
  • Science diplomacy, technology synergy with other countries.

#8: Public awareness

  • People must be made aware of the implications of particular science-tech-R&D initiatives- be it ethical, social or economic. (so that Jholachhap NGOs funded by “Videshi Taaqat”(foreign powers), cannot use them as cannon fodder during protests against BT brijnal, Nuke powers etc.)
  • We will release white papers on new science projects to generate awareness.


#1: private sector =no social good

  1. On one hand, STI policy wants inclusive Development and social goods. But on the other hand, it says the investment in R&D sector is very low and we’ll bring more investment from private sector.
  2. Here comes the problem: When private sector invests in R&D, their aim is always profitability.
  3. They’re not much interested in delivery of social goods.
  4. For example a drug company would rather prefer to do research on new diabetes related drug / supplement rather than some new product to combat malnutrition. Same way, iphone6 vs. clean energy / water recycling.
  • In this policy, Government says additional R&D investment will come from private sector = indirectly they’re hinting that we (the State) are not interested in R&D investment because we want to control fiscal deficit. But history tells us that no country, has developed without massive State investment in R&D.

#2: Indian private sector is lazy in research

  • Government  is already giving many tax reliefs to Indian corporates so they can invest more in research, buying / import necessary machinery without hassle etc. yet they donot invest that much in R&D compared to their American counterparts.
  • We take pride in our IT sector. But our IT sector is mostly involved in the back-office tasks and software coding for international giants like Google, Microsoft and Apple. We don’t have an Indian brand of our own, that can compete with them.
  • Research – Development has long gestation period. Indian businessmen are more concerned with short term gains. Therefore, Government is over-confident when it expects that Indian private sector to invest lot of money in R&D.

#3: no lesson from past

  • The new STI policy doesn’t provide any analysis / reason why the last three policies failed. And what precautions will they take to make sure this new policy won’t be another #EPICFAIL.
  • For example, It says India is not investing much in R&D sector, …there is need to attract more manpower towards science-research field….all these things have been repeated  thousands of times in previous speeches of Presidents and prime ministers and policies.

#4: No structural / fundamental reforms

  • To break the stalemate in research – development, Government needs to fundamentally reform the higher education, the funding and autonomy of universities, IITs, IIMs etc.
  • No amount of private sector investment can compensate the loss through brain drain. (and the Nobel prizes lost because of it). But the STI policy is not much concerned with this angle.

#5: Conflicting Goals And Policies

Policy document repeatedly emphasizes that both economic growth and social good will be pursued through STI. But there are two sets of problems here,

  1. Can private sector funded R&D directly deliver social goods?
  2. Can science really tackle the social sector problems (gender parity, inclusiveness) on its own, without the necessary political will?

Mock Questions


  1. Write a note on the New Science Tech Innovation Policy of 2013. (12/15 marks)


  1. Gender Parity
  2. Green Economy
  3. Role of Science technology and innovation in social empowerment.

Decision Making question for CSAT paper II

Ok this is a non-serious question:

You are a Joint Secretary in Department of Science and Technology. And you have designed a really great scheme for nuclear research / climate change / sustainable Development or whatever. But your proposed scheme doesn’t have a catchy name / phrase / abbreviation. Your boss says he’ll not forward your file to cabinet approval unless you come up with a catchy name. What will you do?

  1. Ask your colleagues, facebook friends, wife, children, neighbors and relatives to help you get a catchy name.
  2. Name the scheme after Nehru Gandhi family and directly forward the file to minister, bypassing your boss.
  3. Start from scratch. Throw away the file. Then First think of a catchy name and then design a scheme that fits into that name.
  4. Forget about the scheme, go home and watch TV.