Science and Technology (S&T) has made a phenomenal impact the world over in shaping the lifestyle of the common man. If India has to go ahead, S&T must play a pivotal role in all the important tasks that lie ahead of us.
Hence, the deployment of S&T as an effective instrument of growth and change becomes an imperative strategy. In order to derive maximum output from meager resources, S&T must be brought into the main theme of economic planning in the agricultural, industrial and services sectors.
Since independence, India has been pursuing a programme of using modern science and technology for national development. Today, India spends one per cent of its Gross National Product (GNP) ...view middle of the document...
Recognising the new role that technology can play in the development of science, the Government of India in 1983 introduced the Technology Policy Statement (TPS) whose basic objective was to develop indigenous technology and ensure efficient absorption and adaptation of imported technology appropriate to national priorities and availability of resources.
Its aim was to attain technical competence and self-reliance, to reduce vulnerability, particularly in strategic and critical areas, making the maximum use of indigenous resources. It is also expected to provide maximum gainful employment to all strata of society with emphasis on the employment of women and weaker sections of society.
The TPS also aims at using traditional skills and capabilities, making them commercially competitive.
It also envisaged several other measures through which the technology would be so introduced and utilised in the society that not only will it reduce the demand on energy but will also ensure harmony with the environment and preserve ecological balance and improve the quality of the habitat.
In order to fulfill the objectives of the Scientific Policy Resolution and Technology Policy Statement the Government has made conscious efforts at planning science and technology activities and providing appropriate resources as part of the development process.
Ever since the first Five Year Plan, resources have been devoted to S&T through the programmes of various national laboratories and scientific departments.
Planning for science and technology is mainly achieved by preparing plans for the following three sectors:
(i) Plans for the six scientific departments viz., Science and Technology, Scientific and Industrial Research, Biotechnology, Ocean Development, Space and Atomic Energy;
(ii) Planning for Science and Technology component of more than 30 individual socio-economic departments which include organisations like the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Departments of Communications, Electronics, Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Irrigation, Industry etc.; and
(iii) A separate science and technology sector in the plans of the states and union territories.
We have some old problems and the current decade will pose further new challenges. The resource crunch, the balance of payment position and the shortage of foreign exchange are hard realities. Liberalisation in technology transfer and trade has been intensified. Resources like energy are in severe shortage.
The increasing unemployment and continuing poverty make a threatening scenario. Improving living conditions of our population is a challenge demanding greater attention.
These national priorities would make increasing demands on the S&T inputs in planning. Thus, S&T activities can no longer remain peripheral to our economic planning.
How to produce more from less? There are ways through which it may be possible to achieve this....