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.

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