Context- The article explains the recent efforts by the Indian government to promote scientific
research and suggest solutions to promote scientific research in the country.
What are efforts made by the government to promote scientific research?
- The government has acknowledged the need for a significant overhaul of the
infrastructure for generating patents. There is a concerted effort to streamline and
expedite the process of filing and obtaining patents.
- Recent bilateral agreements in the field of science and technology, particularly with the
United States, demonstrate that the government is correctly identifying strategic
priorities in this crucial sector.
- The government has established the National Research Foundation (NRF).
What is the way forward to promote scientific research in India?
- Human capital- The most significant factor for running institutions should be the merit
and quality of human capital.
- Bureaucrats and administrators tend to prioritize numerical metrics. But, scientific
research is governed by Lotka’s law, where the top few leaders in a specific field hold
- Quantity cannot replace quality. India must focus on both retaining its top talent within
the country and positioning itself as an attractive destination for talent from overseas.
- The mindset of seeking remittances from abroad should be replaced with an approach
focused on creating value.
- Collaboration between laboratories and academia- One of the fundamental
shortcomings of science policy has been the nearly complete segregation of teaching
and research. Research facilities and centers within a wide range of scientific institutions
are spread throughout India.
- Many government laboratories have the potential to establish structured partnerships
with universities and collaborate with on-campus science parks. It can further extend
their involvement into the industrial sector.
- The objective should be to unite teaching and research through a merit-based admission
- Funding strategy- India should adopt a funding strategy for research that resembles a
barbell. It should be a combination of high-impact, high-yield projects that receive
financial support from a consortium of government agencies and industry.
- The Design-Linked Incentive (DLI) program is an example of it. It aims to support highreward innovation in partnership with high-tech businesses, with specific funding
allocated to the India Semiconductor Mission for semiconductor design.
- Moonshot research initiatives are known for their high risk and the potential for
enormous rewards. It often originates from individual researchers.
- Government should bear responsibility for funding such ambitious endeavors. But, it’s
also important to encourage innovative and entrepreneurial scientists to seek additional
financial support from the industry.
- Cultural transformation- It is imperative within the realm of Indian science. Decision
making is influenced by science bureaucrats who rely on subject-matter experts in
- Unfortunately, this group is resistant to necessary changes that might disrupt the
existing status quo.
- The long-term success of Indian science will ultimately depend on the caliber and
motivations of the individuals engaged in it.