States consult with Union minister Harsh Vardhan to formulate new S&T policy 2020

This is imperative at both the policy-making and implementation processes and is achievable through greater communication and collaboration between the Centre and states.

States consult with Union minister Harsh Vardhan to formulate new S&T policy 2020

File Image of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. PTI

Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday held detailed consultations with the states for the formulation of Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020, the Department of Science and Technology said.

Addressing a virtual meeting with the state ministers and senior officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vardhan said the policy aims to re-energise the country’s scientific ecosystem and redefine the priorities and sectoral focus so as to directly translate efforts in S&T for the benefit of the society and economy.

He said through extensive deliberations, the STIP 2020 proposes institutionalisation of Centre-State STI engagements and creation of pathways to successfully percolate the policy instrument to the grassroots level.

There is a need to identify national priorities that are driven by the needs of the states. Through development of formal linkages, we hope to carry out continuous highest level of engagements, extensive capacity-building exercises, technology development support programs, and other related activities, the Union Science and technology Minister said.

Vardhan said this would also help in streamlining resource mobilisation to avoid duplicity of efforts within the ecosystem, thereby leading to exponential growth.

This engagement is imperative at both the policy-making and implementation processes and is achievable through greater communication and collaboration between the Centre and states, Vardhan pointed out.

We would like to make this truly an inclusive policy in all aspects each and every state should become an equal partner and should share ownership and responsibility not only in formulation of this policy but also in implementing them with full rigour, he said.

K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, said proactive participation of states would make the entire STIP-2020 formulation process truly inclusive and decentralised.

DST Secretary Professor Ashutosh Sharma explained the crucial role of the state-level consultation in providing valuable inputs for the policy and expressed DST’s keenness in facilitating them for creating a robust, bottom-up, and inclusive policy that shapes the New India .

The Ministry of Science and Technology has been holding consultations with different stakeholders for the formulation of the policy.

Vardhan said the current pandemic stands witness to the immediate need for indigenous STI development and growth that can be achieved through harmonised Centre-State relationships based on the ideals of cooperative federalism .

Centre-state cooperation thus remains at the heart of building a truly Atmanirbhar Bharat, he added.

He pointed out that the consultation on STIP 2020 with S&T ministers of the states is a milestone event towards building greater synergy between the Centre and the states and also among states.

To empower the STI ecosystem, there is a need to strengthen institutional linkages and joint funding systems. State S&T Councils must be reinvigorated as they remain crucial in achieving these goals, Vardhan stressed

Outlining the previous National Science Policies – Science Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, Science and Technology Policy 2003 and Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013, Vardhan said the past few years have witnessed accelerated growth placing India as a global STI leader in terms of publications, patents, and quality of research publications, per capita R&D expenditure, participation of women in extramural R&D projects.

India’s engagement in emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, inclusive and frugal innovation, several schemes have been implemented by the Centre and state governments to support and stimulate R&D culture among students and young researchers, the minister noted.

Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Yumnam Joy Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, Jishnu Dev Varma, Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura, Dinesh Sharma, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh also lauded the Centre’s initiative and assured their cooperation in STIP-2020 process.

S&T Ministers of many other states also participated in the meeting. These included: Balineni Srinivas Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), Honchun Ngandam (Arunachal Pradesh), Michael Lobo (Goa), Om Prakash Saklecha (Madhya Pradesh), Robert Romawia Royte (Mizoram), Mmhonlumo Kikon, (Advisor- Information Technology & Communication, S&T Nagaland); Ashok Chandra Panda (Odisha), Vijay Inder Singla (Punjab), Madan Kaushik (Uttarakhand) and Bratya Basu (West Bengal).

The formulation of STIP 2020 is driven by four interrelated tracks, 21 expert-driven thematic groups, and focused public discussions.

The process aims to define priority issues for the national STI ecosystem, recommendations with aligned implementation strategies, expected deliverables, and a rigorous monitoring mechanism.

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