China has beaten us in science: PM

Indian Science Congress: Need to double R&D spending,encourage PPP in research,says Singh

Written by Express News Service | Bhubaneswar | Published: January 4, 2012 1:20:41 am

Acknowledging that India has been “overtaken” by countries like China in the “world of science,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for doubling the spending on research and development by the end of the XIIth Plan in 2017.

“Over the past few decades,India’s relative position in the world of science had been declining and we have been overtaken by countries like China,” Singh said,inaugurating the five-day 99th Indian Science Congress held at the KIIT University campus here. “Things are changing but we cannot be satisfied with what has been achieved.”

The fraction of GDP spent on R&D in India is too small and stagnant,said Singh. “We must aim to increase the total R&D spending as a percentage of GDP to 2% by the end of the XII Plan period from the current level of about 0.9%,” he said. “We must strengthen the supply chain of the science sector.”

Underlining the irony of General Electric and Motorola creating world-class technology hubs in India while domestic industry has not done so,the PM said public-private partnerships have to be increased.

More than 15,000 delegates including scientists and students would gather for the five-day Congress. Nobel laureates Rolf M. Zinkernagel,Kurt Wuthrich and Richard R. Ernst will participate in several discussions.

The focal theme of the Congress this year is ‘Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation — Role of Women’. The Prime Minister said he was concerned over a large number of women scientists remaining unemployed due to lack of job opportunities.

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