|A - Preamble|
|B - Policy Objectives|
C - Strategy and Implementation Plan
Science and technology have profoundly influenced the course of human civilization. Science has provided us remarkable insights into the world we live in. The scientific revolutions of the 20th century have led to many technologies, which promise to herald wholly new eras in many fields. As we stand today at the beginning of a new century, we have to ensure fullest use of these developments for the well being of our people. Science and technology have been an integral part of Indian civilization and culture over the past several millennia. Few are aware that India was the fountainhead of important foundational scientific developments and approaches. These cover many great scientific discoveries and technological achievements in mathematics, astronomy, architecture, chemistry, metallurgy, medicine, natural philosophy and other areas. A great deal of this traveled outwards from India. Equally, India also assimilated scientific ideas and techniques from elsewhere, with open-mindedness and a rational attitude characteristic of a scientific ethos. India’s traditions have been founded on the principles of universal harmony, respect for all creation and an integrated holistic approach. This background is likely to provide valuable insights for future scientific advances. During the century prior to Independence, there was an awakening of modern science in India through the efforts of a number of outstanding scientists. They were responsible for great scientific advances of the highest international caliber. In the half century since Independence, India has been committed to the task of promoting the spread of science. The key role of technology as an important element of national development is also well recognised. The Scientific Policy Resolution of 1958 and the Technology Policy Statement of 1983 enunciated the principles on which the growth of science and technology in India has been based over the past several decades. These policies have emphasized self-reliance, as also sustainable and equitable development. They embody a vision and strategy that are applicable today, and would continue to inspire us in our endeavors. With the encouragement and support that has been provided, there is today a sound infrastructural base for science and technology. These include research laboratories, higher educational institutions and highly skilled human resource. Indian capabilities in science and technology cover an impressive range of diverse disciplines, areas of competence and of applications. India’s strength in basic research is recognized internationally. Successes in agriculture, health care, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy, astronomy and astrophysics, space technology and applications, defense research, biotechnology, electronics, information technology and oceanography are widely acknowledged. Major national achievements include very significant increase in food production, eradication or control of several diseases and increased life expectancy of our citizens. While these developments have been highly satisfying, one is also aware of the dramatic changes that have taken place, and continue to do so, in the practice of science, in technology development, and their relationships with, and impact on, society. Particularly striking is the rapidity with which science and technology is moving ahead. Science is becoming increasingly inter- and multi-disciplinary, and calls for multi-institutional and, in several cases, multi-country participation. Major experimental facilities, even in several areas of basic research, require very large material, human and intellectual resources. Science and technology have become so closely intertwined, and so reinforce each other that, to be effective, any policy needs to view them together. The continuing revolutions in the field of information and communication technology have had profound impact on the manner and speed with which scientific information becomes available, and scientific interactions take place. Science and technology have had unprecedented impact on economic growth and social development. Knowledge has become a source of economic might and power. This has led to increased restrictions on sharing of knowledge, to new norms of intellectual property rights, and to global trade and technology control regimes. Scientific and technological developments today also have deep ethical, legal and social implications. There are deep concerns in society about these. The ongoing globalisation and the intensely competitive environment have a significant impact on the production and services sectors. Because of all this, our science and technology system has to be infused with new vitality if it is to play a decisive and beneficial role in advancing the well being of all sections of our society. The nation continues to be firm in its resolve to support science and technology in all its facets. It recognizes its central role in raising the quality of life of the people of the country, particularly of the disadvantaged sections of society, in creating wealth for all, in making India globally competitive, in utilizing natural resources in a sustainable manner, in protecting the environment and ensuring national security.
Recognizing the changing context of the scientific enterprise, and to meet present national needs in the new era of globalisation, Government enunciates the following objectives of its Science and Technology Policy:
Keeping in view these broad objectives, it is essential to spell out an implementation strategy that will enable identification of specific plans, programmes and projects, with clearly defined tasks, estimates of necessary resources, and time targets. Some of the key elements of the implementation strategy will be as follows: -