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Empowering India: Driving Science, Technology and Innovation

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The Department of Science and Technology (DST) spearheaded a pivotal national brainstorming session titled “Transforming Science, Technology, and Innovation Ecosystems of India” at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) today.

The event, hosted by INSA, spanned an entire day and delved into crucial technology domains such as research and innovation, equity and inclusion, tech development, translation, innovation and entrepreneurship, international cooperation, and governance in science, technology, and innovation.

The India National Science Academy aims to serve as a reservoir of knowledge, promote science within India, utilise scientific knowledge for national welfare, identify and cultivate scientific talent domestically, and represent Indian science and scientists globally on behalf of the Government of India.

The Department of Science & Technology assumes a central role in fostering science and technology within the country. Its diverse activities span from advancing high-end basic research and pioneering cutting-edge technologies to catering to the practical needs of the populace by developing relevant skills and technologies.

Addressing the gathering, Prof Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of DST, emphasised the department’s pivotal role in crafting science and technology policies conducive to research and development. He underscored DST’s proactive measures in establishing policy research centres and benchmarking scientific indicators against global standards to foster evidence-based analysis of India’s scientific and technological landscape.

Prof Karandikar highlighted the imperative for agile and adaptive policies that synchronise with the rapidly transforming science and technology ecosystem. He stressed the need for a robust long-term policy framework to bolster basic science research, fostering discoveries and inventions within the country.

President of INSA, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, emphasised the intricate process of science, technology, and innovation policy formation, involving consultations with a diverse array of stakeholders. He illustrated the symbiotic relationship between science and policy, citing the recent National Geospatial Policy as a case in point, which democratised geospatial information access and enhanced resource utilisation.

Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser at DST, provided insights into DST’s policy research endeavours and outlined the formulation process of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020.

The session aimed to culminate in a comprehensive roadmap for national science policy development, specific policy recommendations for addressing critical challenges, enhanced collaboration and knowledge exchange among stakeholders, and the establishment of a platform for ongoing dialogue and collaborative policy development efforts.

India stands among the leading nations in basic research, with its scientific efforts recognised as crucial drivers of growth and development, particularly in today’s competitive economy. With evolving trends and demands, it is imperative to undertake significant scientific projects that address national priorities and contribute to future technological advancements.

India is on a dynamic journey of digital transformation, utilising technology to fuel innovation, cultivate scientific interest, and ensure equitable access to digital solutions across all sectors. Central to this effort are strategic collaborations and initiatives focused on harnessing indigenous expertise, nurturing talent, and encouraging scientific exploration.

Under the overarching theme of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’, India’s broader focus on digital transformation aims to establish a digitally empowered society. Initiatives like DigiLocker streamline processes and promote inclusivity in governance, healthcare, education, and finance.

India is harnessing digital technology, notably through initiatives like the ‘ONDC Startup Mahotsav’, merging Startup India and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). This event showcased the government’s commitment to nurturing startup growth and innovation, with over 5,000 startups participating and 125 stakeholders signing Letters of Intent to leverage ONDC.

Through a plethora of initiatives, collaboration, innovation and a commitment to scientific literacy, India is poised to lead in the digital age, democratising access to digital commerce infrastructure, fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and ensuring progress and prosperity for all its citizens.

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