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The Editorial Analysis- The Coming 75 Years

The Coming 75 Years- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 1: Indian History- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

The Editorial Analysis- The Coming 75 Years_40.1

 

The Coming 75 Years in News

  • As India celebrates 75 years of Independence, it is apt to imagine what the next 75 years will look like.
  • Can our nation, obsessed with politics, Bollywood, and cricket, aspire to make the next 75 years an enviable era with a higher standard of living for every citizen?

 

Associated Concerns with S & T in India

  • Poor Investment in S&T: India spends a meagre 0.7% of its GDP on research and development (R&D).
    • On the other hand, Israel and South Korea are prime examples that drive their respective economies by spending nearly 5% of their GDP on R&D.
  • Inefficient Implementation: Although there is a well-defined system to disburse research grants to scientists through their institutions, it is mired in inefficiencies.
  • Other Key Challenges faced by Scientific Community in India:
    • Inadequate staffing at funding agencies,
    • Lack of transparency in fund disbursal,
    • Lack of a rigorous international standard review and feedback process,
    • Excessive delay in fund disbursal, and
    • An outdated appraisal system.

 

The Coming 75 Years- Making India Scientific Power

India needs a shift in focus to science and technology. Following steps can be taken to make India a Scientific Superpower in next 75 years-

  • Increasing the R&D budget to 4% of the nation’s GDP: spending 4% of the national GDP on R&D is required to drive science and innovation.
    • However, an increase in the science budget to innovate must precede appropriate macro-level policy changes on how and where the money needs to be spent.
    • A part of this increase needs to be earmarked for building physical and intellectual infrastructure across the country, especially in the universities.
    • A first-class infrastructure must be accompanied by well-trained, globally competitive institutional administrators and processes.
    • India cannot compete on a global stage unless the dwindling infrastructure of its universities is upgraded.
  • Ensuring that individual institutions implement processes to accommodate the large budget: before any policy changes take effect, individual institutions must implement processes to accommodate the large budget.
    • This requires standardising procedures across institutions and borrowing the best practices from some global counterparts.
    • For example, when the government encourages public-private partnerships, each grant-receiving institution must have internal procedures to handle their scientists’ requests to facilitate effective academia-industry collaboration.
    • Bring and implement best practices from the industry and some of the best-run science grant administrations abroad.
    • The involvement of the IT major, Tata Consulting Services, and technology use in transforming passport services across the globe gives us hope.
  • Encouraging individual entrepreneurs and Linking science with society: it is time to bring the fruits of science and technology closer to the masses.
    • There is no better way to do this than by promoting and facilitating individual entrepreneurs.
    • This has received increased attention from the government with many positive policy changes.
  • Lab to Land Implementation: There are no better cradles for creative ideas than our university labs.
    • A robust system to link the labs with the entrepreneurs to funnel innovative ideas, products, and solutions to our society needs to be in place.
    • To make this happen, the universities must encourage scientists to innovate and place standardised procedures to take ideas out of labs.
    • Entrepreneurship will only succeed in India if it is backed by a funnel of ideas and a liberal process of taking those ideas out of our university labs.

The Editorial Analysis- A Tryst with the Past

 

Conclusion

  • India must realise that the next generation of war is economic, not military, and only a science and technology-driven economy can prepare us for that.

PM Address from Red Fort on 76th Independence Day

PM Address from Red Fort on 76th Independence Day

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