BUDGET 2021-2022 HIGHLIGHTS

Health and Wellbeing

There is a substantial increase in investment in Health Infrastructure and the Budget outlay for Health and Wellbeing is Rs 2,23,846 crore in BE 2021-22 as against this year’s BE of Rs 94,452 crore, an increase of 137%.

The Finance Minister announced that a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64, 180 crores over 6 years.

The main interventions under the scheme are:

  1. Support for 17,788 rural and 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centers
  2. Setting up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3382 block public health units in 11 states;
  3. Establishing critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions;
  4. Strengthening of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), its 5 regional branches and 20 metropolitan health surveillance units;
  5. Expansion of the Integrated Health Information Portal to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs;
  6. Operationalisation of 17 new Public Health Units and strengthening of 33 existing Public Health Units at Points of Entry, that is at 32 Airports, 11 Seaports and 7 land crossings;
  7. Setting up of 15 Health Emergency Operation Centers and 2 mobile hospitals; and
  8. Setting up of a national institution for One Health, a Regional Research Platform for WHO South-East Asia Region, 9 Bio-Safety Level III laboratories and 4 regional National Institutes for

Vaccines

Provision of Rs 35,000 crore made for Covid-19 vaccine in BE 2021-22.

Nutrition

To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, the Government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the PoshanAbhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. The government will adopt an intensified strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 Aspirational Districts.

Universal Coverage of Water Supply and Swachch Bharat Mission

JalJeevan Mission (Urban), will be launched for universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crore household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of Rs. 2,87,000 crore. Moreover, the Urban Swachh Bharat Mission will be implemented with a total financial allocation of Rs 1,41,678 crore over a period of 5 years from 2021-

Also to tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution, the government proposed to provide an amount of Rs. 2,217 crore for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population in this budget. A voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles was also announced. Fitness tests have been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in case of personal vehicles and after 15 years in case of commercial vehicles

Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure

AatmaNirbhar Bharat-Production Linked Incentive Scheme

PLI schemes to create manufacturing global champions for an AatmaNirbhar Bharat have been announced for 13 sectors. For this, the government has committed nearly Rs.1.97 lakh crore in the next 5 years starting FY 2021-22. This initiative will help bring scale and size in key sectors, create and nurture global champions and provide jobs to our youth.

Petroleum & Natural Gas

Taking note of the crucial nature of this sector in people’s lives, the following key initiatives are being announced:

  1. Ujjwala Scheme which has benefited 8 crore households will be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries.
  2. The government will add 100 more districts in the next 3 years to the City Gas Distribution network.
  3. A gas pipeline project will be taken up in Union Territory of Jammu &
  4. An independent Gas Transport System Operator will be set up for facilitation and coordination of booking of common carrier capacity in all-natural gas pipelines on a non-discriminatory open access

Innovation and R&D

The Finance Minister said that in her Budget Speech of July 2019, She had announced the National Research Foundation and added that the NRF outlay will be of Rs. 50,000 crore, over 5 years. It will ensure that the overall research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with focus on identified national-priority thrust areas.

The government will undertake a new initiative – National Language Translation Mission (NTLM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy related knowledge on the Internet being made available in major Indian languages.

Personality Check – Adar Poonawalla – Sherral Joseph

Adar Poonawalla was recently included in ‘Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40’ listing in the healthcare category. He recently came into limelight when the Covishield vaccine which was developed by Astra Zeneca with Oxford University began to be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.  Mr Poonawalla became the CEO of SII in 2011, which was initially founded by his father, Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966.  In 2014 SII launched and initiated the Oral Polio vaccine which became the company’s bestseller.

The Institute is currently producing 50 million doses of Covishield a month and according to its CEO Adar Poonawalla, is aiming for a production of 100 million does a month after regulatory approval.

Adar Poonawalla has received several awards for his work in the health industry including the ‘Business Leader of the year’ award as part of the ET Edge Maharashtra Achievers Awards

Sridhar Vembu – Founder of Zoho and recipient of the Padma Shri award by Sherral Joseph

Innovation Check

Sridhar Vembu social entrepreneur noted for introducing software and product development functions from Urban centers to rural villages in India.  His company Zoho became popular after setting up offices in rural districts in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.   In 2004, the company further went ahead to establish educational institutions to provide vocational software development education to rural students as an alternative to formal university education.  The company takes pride in the fact that 15% to 20% of their engineers have received vocational education from Zoho schools with no college degree.  In 2020, the company made a landmark move when they announced the setup of a ‘rural school startup’ which focused on free primary education.

Sridhar Vembu’s Alma mater is Princeton University in New Jersey, having secured his MS and PhD from there. His decision to move from Bay Area to Mathalamparai is historical and has been lauded by many, winning him many awards for his iconic work in the field of education.  In 2019, Vembu was conferred with the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award’’ in India.  Recently in 2021, he became the recipient of the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor.

His amazing business instinct and acumen helped him to identify the right focus area to apply his knowledge, skills and innovative ideas.  His legacy in education in the rural areas will live on for years to come. We hope that India will witness more social entrepreneurs of this calibre.

Silence. Deafening silence. by Darshini Shah

March 22nd, 2020. A historic day. An uncertain fate.

A year which began with prayers for China, Italy and France saw the borders closing worldwide. While the fear increased amongst the countrymen about an uncertain future, a Janta curfew was announced. 8 p.m on the day of the curfew changed everything.

The initial days were filled with a mix of relief and fear, but people saw the unity and humanity across the globe help people with their sanity.

The viral videos of people dancing in their balconies and singing ballads with their neighbours, volunteers helping the underprivileged with the basic necessities provided rays of sunshine. The spirit of humanity glowed brightest in the darkest of times.

While dalgona coffee experiments were done, the household lingered with the aura of home cooked meals. Passion and hobbies found time to grow.
People tried to find out ki “Rasode me kaun tha” and wildlife found itself on the empty roads and everyone rejoiced at the dolphins in the waters of Marines.

While many struggled, many found help and hope in these times and many were the faces of hope and help. Humanity bloomed even in the darkness. We can only hope that 2021 has something better in store for everyone and world is Covid free.

Silence. Deafening silence.

March 22nd, 2020. A historic day. An uncertain fate.

Personality Check – Elon Musk by Sherral Joseph

He was raised in Pretoria, Africa, born to a South African father and Canadian mother.   He dropped out of Standford University after two days to pursue a business career.   It was very early in his career that he founded X.com, an online bank which merged with Confinity in 2000.  This company had launched Paypal and was subsequently bought by eBay  for $1.5 billion.  He is often the subject of many publicised controversies, one of them being the ‘Tham Luang cave rescue and defamation case. ‘  Who are we talking about?

Who would dare defy local government’s lockdown orders to reopen an assembly plant to restart production? Hereafter, be termed as the world’s richest person.

This week, we look at Elon Musk in our ‘Personality Check’ series. We talk about a few of his innovative adventures and his entry to India

In the year 2018, he was ranked 25th on the Forbes list of ‘ The World’s Most Powerful People.’ And was also ranked joint-first on the Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leader of 2019.   In the first week of January 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world, post the pandemic.

In 2002, Musk founded Spacex, of which he is CEO and lead designer.  SpaceX is an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company. In 2006, he helped create SolarCity, a solar energy services company.   In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a non- profit research company that aims to promote friendly artificial intelligence.  In 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain-computer interfaces.  In May 2020, Elon Musk’s SpaceX made history by launching the first crewed mission to space by a private company.  It was the first such mission since 2011 and was a crucial mission as it was sent with a specific purpose of sending humans to space and colonizing Mars.  With innumerable innovations and cutting-edge scientific developments under his radar, Elon Musk has now shifted his interest to India as well

HE generated a lot of interest recently on twitter with two words ‘as promised’  This was in reference to the buzz he created in the Indian Business world when Tesla incorporated a company in Bangalore, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Ltd – with a paid-up capital of Rs lakh and 3 directors.  Highly known for its electric cars in the US, Tesla has taken a tax-friendly route in India.  All Indian eyes on this baby . We can’t wait to see the impact of this business decision on the Indian economy and world as a whole.

 

Historic win from India and what we can learn from it- by Sherral Joseph

 Before I continue, I must tell you that I don’t watch cricket.  But like the rest of the world, I’ve learned something from the victory today.

I just watched Thangarasu Natrajan in an interview post his win. On being questioned about the bowling, he just laughed and said ‘I didn’t see it coming the first time’

First lesson – A) Humour is a great attitude to have in any situation. It definitely realigns the mind to a more broader and a more positive perspective

Incidentally post this series, T. Natrajan has become the first India cricketer to make his International debut across all three formats while playing the 20-21 tour of Australia. What a tour has been! History in the making for India and the world.

Some journalists have drawn a parallel to ‘Horatio on the bridge’ to the Indian team’s position throughout the test amidst continuous assault on ‘Gabbatoir’ soil.  The victory is amazing, for this test series had more challenges besides not having Virat Kohali on board.

Lesson 2 – The absence of a leader can be a strong motivator for team co-operation and outstanding performance. An opportunity for the team to prove themselves and new leaders to arise.

Do we see a new leader in Rishab Pant?

The whole nation was on edge as India played beyond expectations through the ‘intimidating’ balls and vicious bowling, all meant to throw the Indian players off the game.   As all the umpires were Australian, the Indian team did seem to be at quite a disadvantage.  A ‘deja-vu’ scenario for the cricket world, as something similar happened way back in 1970-71 in the series between Australia and England.

Players Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant,Hanuma Vihari and Ravi Ashwin resisted all manner of physical and verbal abuse for more than 40 overs, as cited by certain articles.

Lesson 3 – There is an undeniable link between strong character and outstanding sportsmanship.

A victory under such circumstances could have been achieved only with a strong will to win,  determined focus and most importantly a passion for the sport.

So, it is not surprising when the BCCI announced a Rs. 5 crore bonus for the Indian cricket team after the Ajinkya Rahane –led side won the fourth and final test against Australia.

Ganguly tweeted ‘The value of this win is beyond any number..well done to every member of the touring party,’’

This whole series has been an incredible example of the grit and character of the Indian team.  The nation and the whole world has poured in accolades for their exemplary sportsmanship.  This game is definitely an iconic footprint in the history of cricket.

As reported by www.i.stuff.co.nz, an article written by a NZ writer, “But only one side has played with honor.  The other, with their scuffing of every moral crease line, has shamed cricket and shamed their country”.

The World’s largest vaccination drive by Sherral Joseph

Tomorrow is a big day for India, as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will launch the pan-India rollout of 2 COVID 19  vaccines Covaxin and Covishield,  as they get formally approved for  what could be the world’s largest vaccination drive.  The launch will be held at 10.30 am virtually by the Prime Minister and will be covering 3006 session sites across all states and UTs virtually.

The vaccines developed by the Astra Zeneca with Oxford University and local firm Bharat Biotech will be part of the drive that could inoculate about 300 million people on priority basis this year.   Nationwide mock drills have been conducted to prepare healthcare workers for the vaccination drive. In Tamil Nadu, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan supervised the dry run operations during his visit to Tamil Nadu in the first week of Jan.

The Covishield vaccine which is developed by Astra Zeneca with Oxford University is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.  The Institute is currently producing 50 million doses a month and according to its CEO Adar Poonawalla, is aiming for a production of 100 million does a month after regulatory approval.

The online platform being used to monitor vaccination stocks, storage temperature and individual tracking of beneficiaries for COVID 19 is Co-WIN.  A dedicated 24/7 call center -1075 has been established to address all queries related to the software, vaccine roll-out and the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Health Ministry announced that Bharat Biotech plans to donate 16.5 lakh worth of vaccines and is charging the government only for 55 lakh doses at Rs.206 per dose. The Serum Institute of India is charging Rs. 200 per dose for 1.1 crore doses.  (as published by moneycontrol.com)

The Agricultural Revolution of India written by Sangharsh Kale

Farming and allied industries are the backbone of India’s economy. In modernizing agricultural practices, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a key role in achieving the objective of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.

Agriculture is also listed by India’s national AI strategy as one of the main   areas where AI can enable growth and greater inclusion. AI-enabled farming solutions help farmers improve crop productivity, monitor soil health, optimize the management  of pests and weeds,
manage irrigation, and help farmers to pay the best price. In line with the aspirations of the country, the Confederation of Indian  Industry (CII) is working to grow the agricultural sector. A main focus area  is  upgrading the technology quotient in agriculture.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare  Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar announced onNovember 6, 2020 that the Centre would soon  launch a ‘price information and market intelligence system’ powered by AI that will enable farmers to find out the
latest prices of different farm products in markets across the nation.

He said while announcing the plan, “We are developing a price mechanism. Through this process, even a person sitting in Badaun will know the prices prevailing in Kolkata market every day in the morning. This scheme is being built and very soon it will be launched.”

Several start-ups are now also committed to maintaining the agricultural sector through the AI system.  In Andhra Pradesh, a company is using AI to power a sowing app, leading to a higher crop yield per hectare. In addition, AI algorithms are being used to monitor crop and soil health, where AI-based analytical solutions are used to plan events like crop harvesting, pest control and fertilisation to optimise yields.

Selfmade entrepreneurs such as former IITians Mr. Taranjeet Singh Bhamra and Mr. Rajamanohar Somasundaram have recently been reported to have introduced an AI-powered
platform that helps farm producers, buyers, and end users. In order to remove subjectivity and bring transparency across the food  value chain, the platform facilitates instant quality assessment
and traceability linkages.

It is interesting to note that Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the IT and Industries Department, announced that Telangana is focusing on artificial intelligence in  agriculture and has generated several data sets on reports on weather ,agricultural prices and the market yard position.

To sum it up the future of farming looks bright as AI is taking over the standard procedures.

 

Foot-binding in China by Rajesh Ravindranath

Foot-binding was a painful and permanent ritual custom of restricting young girls feet as small as possible from a normal growth. This custom was extensively used as a status symbol among the elite to improve their social prospects. It was believed a woman’s attractiveness and elegance would enhance with bound feet. Largely, it was practiced by the rich and elite families, where the rich had servants to attend to their needs whereas the poor girls couldn’t afford to do foot binding as they were required to work every day. The process began usually from the age of five by ritual offerings and prayers to the Tiny-Footed Maiden Spirit once an auspicious day was chosen.

Description: chinese foot binding

Figure 1. “Process of Foot Binding”. Reprinted from China Highlights, n.d., Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-history/chinese-foot-binding.htm

It is believed that the tradition of foot binding originated in the early Song Dynasty (960-1279) among Turkic royal court dancers. The earliest documented records substantiate that the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975) in the court of the southern-central Chinese province had royal court dancers in their services. Continuing the tradition, foot binding became prevalent among many elite families apart from the royal families. Most of the girls were from the Han dynasty, but other elite families such as the Dungan, Hui, and some Cantonese families started practicing this art. Different types of foot binding were also practiced, such as a process called loose binding, where the toes and arch were not broken. They used a technique to narrow the foot, still, it was very common to have severe infections and gangrene among girls. The intended outcome of the long and painful procedure was to have a feet known as “Golden Lotus” or “Lotus” feet which was the eternal symbol of Buddhism.

Description: Chinese Foot Binding

Figure 2. “Chinese Foot Binding”. Reprinted from Kidzworld, n.d., Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.kidzworld.com/article/2142-history-chinese-foot-binding

Foot-binding turned into a traditional custom during the Song Dynasty and spread all over eastern China. The prevalent practice of foot binding by the upper class slowly found its way into the lower-middle-class society as a means to seek better prospects of their children. The widespread admiration and acceptance of foot binding was reached its peak during the late 19th and early 20th centuries where young girls with bound feet performed not only in the royal court but also at circuses. The migration of a large number of Chinese families in the 19th century paved the way for foot binding practices in Europe, Hong Kong, and South East Asia, especially Indonesia.

Resistance & Criticism: Being an excruciating process with long-lasting complications of mobility, the tradition had its impacts. In the 16th century, the Manchu Qing Dynasty forbid its citizens from binding their feet. The Song dynasty was overthrown by the Mongols in the 12th century. The far more politically independent and influential Mongol women were not in favor of their daughters being disabled permanently with foot binding and they were officially barred from the practice. Though some Western and Muslim activists and reformers challenged the tradition of foot binding, it began to officially die out only during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was largely due to perceptions of ‘modernization’, changes in social status and settings along with strong anti-foot binding campaigns across China. The Communists party took over the country after the Civil War in 1949. Mao Zedong treated women who took part in the revolution as equal partners and banned foot-binding all over China as it severely weakened rural women’s significance as workers.

Medical Concerns of Foot-Binding: For over hundred years, a high number of Chinese girls had to undergo excruciating body pain to comply with the prevailing social expectation and tradition of foot binding. They were subjected to such rituals to increase their prospects. Young girls’ feet were repeatedly crushed to reach the desired shape and size. Every girl going through this process had to go through unimaginable pain. The outcome, no matter the inspiration, was the extreme physical injury. Despite the brutality of foot-binding, the persistent medical consequences have been largely ignored. Despite the pain after every procedure, the girls were literally forced to walk, to gain their blood circulation. All the toes were bent toward the bottom of the foot leaving only one toe, and bound tightly with cloth bandages which were not sterilized and the toes were regularly broken to be bound over even more tightly.

Description: What are some of the health complications of foot binding?

Figure 2. “Health complications of foot binding”. Reprinted from MyMed, n.d., Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.mymed.com/health-wellness/body-modifications/foot-binding/what-are-some-of-the-health-complications-of-foot-binding

Having tightly bound feet would severely hamper a woman’s balance while walking. It resulted in the lumbar vertebrae bending forward which restricts a woman’s balance and shifted the weight to the lower part of the pelvis which often leads to pelvic damage (Mackie 1003). As Chinese girls practiced this ritual from a very young age, foot binding affected their bone density, growth, and deformities. As the toes tend to curl inward along the sole, toenails tend to grow inside the flesh, leading to severe infection. Some women have been recorded, suffering from severe septic shock and death because of foot binding.

Women’s life and Social Status: women in ancient China have been persecuted for hundreds of years because of the very low status accorded to them in the male-dominated society.  The most methodical, traditional, and firmly embedded chauvinist philosophies and practices in China originated from the beliefs of “filial piety” of Confucius (551-479 B.C.) (Xing 17).  The practice of foot binding is undoubtedly one of the most inhuman and wide-spread rituals known in the history of mankind. Their feet in due course became completely deformed, making them confined to their home, as a result they had to depend on men. One of the most significant reasons to end this ritual, was the reformist crusade initiated by intellectuals in the 19th century. Their knowledge of Western societies and thoughts influenced the democratic social system about scientific direction, family, and marriage. Lack of education among women, inequality and, bound feet prevented them from nurturing a strong and healthy future for the country. They encouraged equality between women and men, educational prospects for women, and participation in labor. The main motivation was to change Chinese the social order and make it an economically independent nation. After the great agricultural revolution in 1958, China launched a huge campaign to increase the economic development of industry and technology (Peerenboom 117). The government urged the women to join the labor force, like working the fields and other male-oriented industrial professions. Newly initiated establishments such as cafeterias, nurseries and kindergartens were mostly supervised and staffed by women. Even though the Great Leap Forward Movement was not a successful venture, the participation of women’s labor force reached a saturation level that continued throughout the period of Cultural Revolution (Li 32). On a more encouraging note, foot binding also formed strong co-existing habits between different generations, since they frequently sew their shoes together. Beyond these affinity, foot binding redesigned China’s culture and architecture. Since it was challenging for women to climb, the Chinese began constructing single story structures. Paths and tracks were built narrow so as to assist the women folk to lean on walls when they walked. The Chinese women, who had until that time relished the role of secondary and supressed role in the society started demanding equal rights with their male counterparts. This agitation more or less led to the abolition of foot binding and paved the way for women’s emancipation in China which further led to restructuring and modernization. The results were not easy as it took nearly two centuries of reformist movements by scholars and intellectuals to wipe out this age-old ritual. On a socio-economic front, the women were ready to cast aside their oppression and work with men, side by side on an equal basis (Chan 231). Psychologically, the Chinese woman started noticing and taking interest in the high-heeled footwear coming from the West thereby putting a stop to the tradition of foot binding.

Completely banning an age old tradition can lead to occasional setbacks and conflicts in the development of women’s empowerment and liberation, it is to be noted that, to a certain extent, the Chinese government has to be given credit for the development process and clearing out the way for many other obstacles encountered by the Chinese women’s movement (Menke 8). The Chinese implement its socio-economic reforms based on the most significant concerns raised by its intellectuals and reformists. Women’s crusade and the social stratification of gender in modern-day China has undeniably, heralded numerous changes that have considerably minimised the gender disparity. The communist party directly involves in restructuring and implementing new policies to protect their women. Women’s labor force participation was, for some time brought to almost a saturated level. There has been significant increase in the level of general public’s awareness over the issue of gender inequality. Gender gap has become smaller in the areas of educational achievement, labor force participation and division of labour.

The ritual of foot binding lasted almost 1000 years in China and it signified the wealth of a girl’s family by not allowing their daughter to do any labour intensive work. Though foot binding was considered an inhuman treatment, it was still seen as a sign of prosperity and wealth. The ritual of foot binding was performed as a mark of respect to the Chinese culture. However, the uprising by Chinese nationalists ignited the spark that was to end foot binding significantly. The tradition started to take a hit considerably their-on. Dr Sun Yat-Sen’s revolution completely outlawed the practice of foot binding from 1911. It can be considered a big relief and an end to the atrocities of female suppression and gender inequality. As a result of the rebellions and resistance movements by nationalists and reformers, the practice of foot binding ceased to exist in modern Chinese societies.

Work Cited

Chan, Lily Mary Veronica. “Foot binding in Chinese women and its psycho-social implications.” Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal 15.2 (1970): 229-232.

Li, Yuhui. “Women’s movement and change of women’s status in China.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 1.1 (2000): 30-40.

Mackie, Gerry. “Ending footbinding and infibulation: A convention account.” American sociological review (1996): 999-1017.

Menke, Augustine. “The Development of Feminism in China.” (2017).

Xing, Guang. “Early Buddhist and Confucian Concepts of Filial Piety: A Comparative Study.” Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies 4 (2013).

Peerenboom, Randall. “Assessing human rights in China: why the double standard.” Cornell Int’l LJ 38 (2005): 71.

Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020

A landmark policy initiative written by Chayan Sen

A landmark policy initiative, ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2020’ (STIP 2020) has been initiated.  The recent advancements in the global and national STI landscape, STIP 2020 aims to reorient STI efforts in terms of priorities, sectoral focus, and strategies. It aims to revisit and re-energize the way research is conducted; technologies developed and deployed with the goals of larger socio-economic progress and welfare. This is only the fifth national science, technology, and innovation policy of/for India. The others were :

  1. The Science Policy Resolution 1958 (SPR 1958) which aimed to “foster, promote and sustain” the “cultivation of science and scientific research in all its aspects”
  2. The Technology Policy Statement 1983 (TPS 1983) which emphasized the need to attain technological competence and self-reliance.
  3. The Science and Technology Policy 2003 (STP 2003) which brought the benefits of Science and Technology to the forefront and focused on the investment required for research and development along with the national innovation system.
  4. The Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy 2013 (STIP 2013) which focused on the large demographic dividend and set the paradigm “Science technology and innovation for the people.”

STIP 2020 revolves around the core principles of being decentralized, evidence informed, bottom-up, experts-driven, and being inclusive. Also, it aims to bring inthe concept of ‘dynamic policy’ with a robust policy governance mechanism incorporating features such as periodic review, policy evaluation, feedback, adaptation and most importantly, a timely exit strategy for various policy instruments.

STIP 2020 policy formulation framework involves 4 detailed tracks of activities and a coordination mechanism through a centralized secretariat. These are as follows:

Track-I involves extended public and expert consultation with larger public participation. It aims to capture the aspirations of a larger set of stakeholders and create a repository of public voices that will act as a guiding force for the drafting process.

Track-II involves focused experts-driven thematic group consultations to feed evidence-informed recommendations into the policy drafting process

Track-III connects ministries, departments, and states to this policy process through a designated nodal officer. This track involves extensive intra-state and intra-department/ministry consultations

Track-IV brings institutional coherence by integrating inputs from all the tracks. This track is the binding force that draws upon the apex-level multi-stakeholder engagement at the national as well as global levels.

The background preparatory work in all the 4 tracks helps us in capturing the larger stakeholder voices and results in identifying a broader set of priority issues, recommendations, ideas, and suggestions to shape up the STI ecosystem of the country with a futuristic outlook.