New science and tech policy
The science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem has undergone rapid transformation in terms of relevance, scope and scale, and a new policy is being formulated to capture these aspects, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on 28 August 2020. A series of interactions with thought leaders on the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), 2020, which is being formulated.
- The country is now formulating a new national STIP which adopts a unique approach of being decentralised, inclusive, evidence driven and knowledge supported.
- This will be the second major policy to be brought by the government during this year. The Union Cabinet had last month approved the National Education Policy.
- These policies are being brought by the government at a crucial juncture when India is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The entire STI ecosystem has undergone rapid transformation in terms of relevance, scope and scale in these years. These must be captured into a policy to develop a long development trajectory and vision for the country.
- Moreover, the COVID-19 situation has introduced some new learning and added dimensions to the STI system.
- This will need greater focus on development of indigenous technologies and encouragement to grass root level innovation.
- India and the world reorient in the present context of the COVID-19 crisis, a landmark policy initiative, STIP 2020, has been initiated at this crucial juncture.
- It is one of the most significant events amidst many important changes in the past decade that have necessitated the formulation of a new outlook and strategy for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
- The formulation process, by design, is envisioned as an inclusive and participatory model with interconnectedness among different tracks of activities.
- The STIP, 2020, formulation process is organised into four highly interlinked tracks, which will reach out to around 15,000 stakeholders for consultation in the policy formulation.
- Track-I involves an extensive public and expert consultation process through the Science Policy Forum, which is a dedicated platform for soliciting inputs from larger public and expert pools during and after the policy drafting process.
- Track-II comprises experts-driven thematic consultations to feed evidence-informed recommendations into the policy drafting process. Twenty-one focused thematic groups have been constituted for this purpose.
- Track-III involves consultations with ministries and states, while Track-IV constitutes apex level multi-stakeholder consultation.