May 2, 2020
To build S&T capabilities, the Union Budget 2020-21 allotted the largest-ever fund for scientific research and development
The Gross expenditure on R&D in the country nearly tripled from Rs.394.4 billion in 2007- 08 to Rs.1.1 trillion in 2017-18
India occupies 3rd rank in terms of the number of PhDs awarded in Science and Engineering (S&E) after the US and China
During 2017-18 a total of 47,854 patents were filed in India. Out of which, 15,550 patents were filed by Indian residents
India’s gross expenditure in scientific research and development (R&D) has tripled over 2008-18, driven mainly by the Government sector, as per the R&D Statistics and Indicators 2019-20 based on the national S&T Survey 2018 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). R&D indicators are a vital resource for policymaking in higher education, R&D activity, intellectual property, and industrial competitiveness. To strengthen indigenous scientific capabilities, the Government of India has been studying the indicators pertaining to the spread of investment in scientific R&D, R&D relationship with the GDP, manpower engaged in R&D, papers published, patents, and their international S&T comparisons, etc. This has greatly contributed to the building of a science-driven and future-ready economy.
In line with the focus on building capabilities in S&T, the Union Budget 2020-21 allotted the largest-ever funding for scientific research and development. The Budget, introduced on February 1, also announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA) with a total outlay of over US$1.1 billion. The mission will be implemented for a period of five years by the DST. Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the new economy was based on innovations that disrupt established, business models. Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), automation, 3D printing, quantum computing, drones, among other next-gen innovations, are re-writing the world economic order. Hence the Government is keen to drive innovation and investment in this space.
To empower the S&T ecosystem, the Central Government surveyed more than 6,800 S&T institutions spread across varied sectors like central government, state governments, higher education, public sector industry, and private sector industry. The key findings of the survey are:
India is placed 3rd among countries in the scientific publication as per US-based National Science Foundation (NSF):
India has risen to the 3rd position globally in terms of scientific publications as well as in the number of PhD in science and engineering, as per the US-based National Science Foundation (NSF). With the rise in India’s population and growing awareness as well as accessibility to higher education, the number of researchers per million population has also doubled since 2000. The Government of India, on its part, has improved funding for higher education and scientific research while establishing partnerships with academic and research organisations as well as governments around the world to enable research and development (R&D) activities. Focus on science is a key part of the Government’s efforts to strengthen human resources and in turn the economy for the opportunities and the challenges of the future.