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India’s Research and Innovation Ecosystem

The interim Budget for 2024-25 heralds a transformative era for India’s scientific and research community with the allocation of a substantial ₹1 lakh crore corpus dedicated to enhancing the nation’s research and innovation landscape. This financial infusion aims to invigorate the spheres of scientific inquiry and technological development, propelling India towards becoming a global research powerhouse.

Evolving Slogans, Envisioning Progress

The progression from Lal Bahadur Shastri’s iconic ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ to A.B. Vajpayee’s inclusion of ‘Jai Vigyan,’ and now the Prime Minister’s extension to ‘Jai Anusandhan,’ encapsulates India’s growing emphasis on research (‘Anusandhan’) as a pivotal pillar of national development. This evolution underscores the integral role of scientific research and innovation in advancing agricultural productivity, defense capabilities, and overall societal progress.

Assessing India’s R&D Landscape

Despite India’s increasing Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD), which has witnessed a twofold increase from ₹6,01,968 million in 2010-11 to ₹12,73,810 million in 2020-21, the nation’s R&D investment as a percentage of GDP stands at a modest 0.64%. This figure is relatively lower compared to leading research-driven economies like China (2.4%), Germany (3.1%), South Korea (4.8%), and the United States (3.5%).

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Growing Hub of Research and Innovation

Despite a lower GDP share dedicated to research and development (R&D) compared to leading nations, India has made significant strides in becoming a prominent producer of academic talent and research output.

Highlights of India’s Research Landscape

  • Ph.D. Production: India ranks third globally, generating an impressive 40,813 PhDs annually. This signifies a strong commitment to nurturing intellectual capital and contributing to international research efforts.
  • Research Publications: India stands as the third-largest producer of research publications globally, exceeding 300,000 publications in 2022. This reflects a robust research ecosystem actively contributing to the advancement of knowledge across various disciplines.
  • Patent Grants: While ranking lower than the US and China, India has secured the sixth position globally with 30,490 patents granted in 2022. This indicates a developing innovation landscape with immense potential for growth in intellectual property creation.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Limited Private Sector Investment: Government entities remain the primary drivers of R&D spending in India, contributing over 50%. Encouraging greater private sector investment is crucial to maximizing the nation’s R&D potential.
  • Collaboration is Key: Fostering collaboration between the government, academia (HEIs), and businesses is essential to leverage the combined strengths of each sector and translate scientific advancements into tangible economic and technological progress.
  • Additional Information: The Indian government’s recent proposal for a ₹1 lakh crore (US$12.3 billion) corpus for R&D signifies a growing recognition of the importance of sustained investment in this critical sector.

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Elevating India’s R&D Expenditure

These concerted efforts aim to significantly boost India’s R&D investment, laying down a strategic framework for nurturing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The interim Budget, along with the NDTSP and the ANRF Act, manifests a clear signal of India’s dedication to fostering a private sector-driven research and innovation ecosystem, especially in emerging sectors.

The strategic focus on bolstering the research and innovation ecosystem, as reflected in the 2024-25 interim Budget, marks a pivotal step in India’s journey towards becoming a science and technology leader on the global stage. By fostering a conducive environment for high-caliber research and development, India is poised to make significant strides in economic growth, technological innovation, and sustainable development, thereby reinforcing its position as a formidable force in the global research and innovation arena.

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What does the allocation of ₹1 lakh crore in the interim Budget signify for India's research and innovation?

The allocation reflects a significant investment aimed at enhancing India's research and innovation ecosystem, propelling the nation towards becoming a global research powerhouse.

How has India's emphasis on research evolved over the years?

India's emphasis on research is reflected in the progression of slogans from 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' to 'Jai Vigyan' and now 'Jai Anusandhan,' highlighting the integral role of research in national development.

What are the challenges and opportunities in India's research landscape?

Challenges include limited private sector investment and the need for greater collaboration between government, academia, and businesses. Opportunities lie in leveraging India's intellectual capital, research output, and growing innovation potential.

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Hey there! I'm Nikesh, a content writer at Adda247. I specialize in creating informative content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Join me as we unravel the complexities of these exams and turn aspirations into achievements together!

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