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GoI is Determined to push R&D Investments in India: Dr. Ashwani Kumar Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
New Delhi: Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology & Earth Sciences said that for a country of India’s size, capabilities and resources, the money invested in research and development by the private sector needs to be increased exponentially.

"Along with the industry here, we have taken a few decisions in principle. The govt. and industry will ensure that every year 10,000 PhDs are absorbed in the Indian private sector," said the minister. "We need to create absorptive capacity to inspire young minds to take up science and tech," he added. He was speaking at an exclusive CEOs interactive Session on ‘How to Increase Industry Investment in R&D organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Talking of the industry’s commitment, he said, "I expect the private sector to quadruple investment in R&D. As a nation, we will spend 1.5 to 2% of our GDP in R&D. We are also setting up a committee headed by an industry leader and co-chaired by a senior government officer to prepare a white paper on where we stand today in terms of R&D. This will help the government and private sector to finalize a plan of action together."

He informed that the private sector and government are working together to absorb foreign scientists of Indian origin who want to return to India. "We are creating an ecosystem so that scientists returning to India will not be in want of an industry job."

"Energy, food and health security is the nation’s priority. To achieve this, we have identified a few thrust areas for investment and research such as bio-tech, nano science, material sciences, genomics, bio-tech, vaccine research among others," informed the minister. "I am determined to give political lead to initiatives discussed with the industry in our meeting with CEO’s here and take whatever steps necessary for the government to partner with the industry. That is the PM’s directive as well, to give science and technology the thrust it requires to take the nation forward," Dr. Ashwani said.

T Ramasami, Secretary DST, said, "The need is not just to look at the past and present, but to also see what will happen in the next 5 years. The investment plan of the private sector has to be in sync with government policies and where there is a lack, the government should push for policy readjustment so that there is no hindrance in the knowledge transfer from mind to market space."

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