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Draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy

The Department of Science and Technology has published the draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy. The objective of the policy is to identify and address strengths and weaknesses of the Indian STI ecosystem to catalyse socio-economic development of the country and also make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.[1]

The key proposals are listed below.

  1. STIP will lead to the establishment of a National STI Observatory that will act as a central repository for all kinds of data related to and generated from the STI ecosystem.
  1. All data used in and generated from public-funded research will be available to everyone (larger scientific community and public) under FAIR3 (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) terms.
  1. The Government of India will negotiate with journal publishers for a “one nation, one subscription” policy whereby, in return for one centrally negotiated payment, all individuals in India will have access to journal articles.
  1. Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) will be established, that bring together industries, MSMEs, startups, R&D institutions and HEIs with the government.
  1. Industry clusters will be encouraged and incentivized wherever necessary, to engage in collaborative R&D.
  1. Opportunities for foreign MNCs to invest in the country’s STI landscape will be strengthened and made more accessible.
  1. Boosting fiscal incentives for industries investing in STI through incremental R&D based tax incentives, tax credit for investing in facilities for commercialization, tax holidays, tax waivers, target-based tax incentive for specific domains, tax deduction, expatriate tax regimes, remodelling of patent box regime etc. There will be a reassessment of the possibility of reviving weighted deduction provisions.
  1. Mission mode schemes/programs will be launched to propel the development and deployment of frontier disruptive technologies such as blockchain, AI, 3Dimensional (3D) printing, Quantum Internet of Things (IOT), etc. that impact society and the economy across the sectors.
  1. Enhanced representation of women, at least 30% of the total strength, in all decision-making bodies including selection and evaluation committees will be mandated.
  1. To reduce the administrative burden on the researchers, digital platforms and e-governance will be used for grant management -all activities from award, funding and utilisation of grants to measurement of research outputs.

The draft of the policy is available here

Stakeholders have been invited to submit comments and suggestions latest by 25th January 2021. We request members to share comments to jayakumar@nasscom.in before 19th January 2021.

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Reference

[1] Press release on the draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy, https://dst.gov.in/draft-5th-national-science-technology-and-innovation-policy-public-consultation

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