5 Dec 2013

DST’s Continued Support to all the Professional Science & Engineering Academies of Country for Knowledge Services and Outreach Organisations

The Science & Technology Secretary Dr. T.Ramasami
The Science & Technology Secretary Dr. T.Ramasami has exhorted upon the professional Science & Engineering academies of country for enhancing their efforts in the expansion of knowledge service and outreach organisations. 

He was addressing the representatives from different government & autonomous institutions working under the aegis of in the J.C.Bose Institute in Kolkata today.

 While presenting an overview of wide ranging DST activities Dr. Ramasami said his department plays a central role in policy making related to science & technology in the country and serves as the coordinating agency of the Govt. of India in S&T related matters. 

Dr. Ramasami gave a detailed presentation and said the Objectives & Functions of DST have been redefined and these stipulates for the Formulation of Science, Technology and Innovation policy and other enabling policies for the R&D sector; Strengthening Basic research and Expanding R&D base -Human capacity; Strengthening Basic research and Expanding R&D base -Institutional Capacity; Implementing Technology Development Programs; Societal interventions of S&T and S&T co-operation / Partnerships and Alliances. 

He said over the years it has become necessary to bring changes in the India’s Science policy Space. History wise, the Science Policy Resolution (SPR) developed in 1958 was a pace setter. Resolved to foster the cultivation of scientific and scientific research in all aspects. This was followed by Technology Policy Statement (TPS) made in 1983. It enunciated the need for technological competence and self-reliance. Then came the Science and Technology Policy in 2003. This brought the Science and technology together and emphasized the need to invest into science for addressing the national problems. Now, time has come to work on the new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013: Science Policy for people, released by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on January 03, 2013 on the occasion of the current 100th Session of the Indian Science Congress, Dr. Ramasami added. 

Dr. Ramasami also informed that prior to it Outreach dimensions in processes adopted for formulation and accordingly DST prepared a background paper, circulated widely, enrolled ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI for outreach to university, industrial and research sectors, organized 7 interactive sessions with stakeholders, more than 4500 people participated, more than 100 people sent inputs, the draft policy was prepared and hosted on web site of DST for public comments, reformulated and sent to inter-ministerial consultations, revised once again to include comments from other ministries in two sittings and finally the revised note was sent to the cabinet for approval. On 26th December 2012, the STI policy was approved and released on 3rd January 2013. 

The presentation paper said under the Institutional Strengthening Under Extra Mural Research Mode work is done for Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence; Consolidation of University Research, Innovation and Excellence; Intensification of Research in High Priority Research Areas; Fund for Infrastructure Strengthening of S&T; Special Packages for NER, J&K, Bihar, etc; National centers in Universities and Elite institutions and Joint virtual centers with lead institutions and International research consortia (under bilateral and multi-lateral format). 

Dr. Ramasami said the Science and Engineering Research Council is under Transformation with the establishment of SERB The Board has started functioning. It met already four times. Released more than Rs 200 crores this year and started a number of new Initiatives . Technology Development Board, another statutory body formed in 1990s is an innovation support system. The Board supported under Non-plan fund is diversifying programmes. Board has claimed about Rs 580 crores from GoI and sanctioned more than Rs 1200 crores. Acceleration of pace planned. The Institutional Strengthening is being done under the Extra Mural Research Mode and Aided Institution mode. 

He said under the Technology Development Initiatives New Paradigm seeking convergent solutions rather than demonstrating a technology element have been chalked out . Some Specific Examples of Convergent Solutions are Decentralized Power Generation: 

• 250 kw Hybrid technology (solar during day time and biomass during night) plant for decentralized generation installed in a village for gathering data for policy measures. A company is challenged to demonstrate the solution 

• Potash fertilizer from sea- Test-beds for technology for potash from seas being established in industrial site under PPP for convergent solution to fertilizer related problems. A research institute s challenged to prove the cost viability. 

• Convergent Solutions of water related challenges- 23 types of water related challenges are addressed in 22 locations for providing revenue model based technical solutions. Solution designers are challenged to prove their revenue models 

For Water and Water Technology Initiatives Total of 27 projects in as many locations covering more than 23 types of water related challenges have been commissioned in different parts of the country. Accordingly, Total solutions for water challenges in 10 locations implemented. Some revenue models have been explored successfully. Also, River Bank Filtration implemented successfully in Uttrakhand.; Being scaled up in areas where river water is in supply but not available for drinking. 

DST has recently constituted a Council for Science and Technology for Rural India (CSRTI). CSRTI will focus on total solutions to any specific problem faced by rural communities rather than to demonstrate technologies. Under the Science Society programmes there is provision for Technologies for Elderly; Women Technology Parks and Programmes in association WWF for Nature for wild life protection 

It was informed that for the Autonomous Aided Institutions during 11th Plan Five new institutions have been added .In the area of Basic Resarch, Applied R&D and Extension of R&D there are 17 Research institutions; 6 Specialist institutions; 5 Professional bodies promoting science. Some of them have emerged as knowledge hot spots with high recognitions. Dr. Ramasami further hoped that there will be a synergy of efforts in this regard. 

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