India’s next science, technology, and innovation policy to be more “people centric”

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The union science minister Harsh Vardhan feels the STIP 2020 should be more people-centric.

If you don’t know, STIP is science, technology, and innovation policy. The STIP 2020 is the 5th STIP policy. This policy would be a bit different from the last 4 policies because of the situation the nation is facing.

The first-ever policy came back in 1958 that focused on promoting a scientific temperament in the country. The second one came back in 1983, third in 2003, and the fourth one in 2013. The fourth policy had some bottom-up approach but was no major contribution by the people to make it people-centric.

The union science minister suggests that this time all the stakeholders and the people of the nation should participate in the process of developing this policy from bottom up.

He says, “The entire science, technology, and innovation ecosystem has undergone rapid transformation in terms of relevance, scope, and scale in recent years. These must be captured into a policy to develop a long development trajectory and vision for the country. Moreover, Covid-19 has introduced some new learning and added dimensions to the STI system,”

STIP2020
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The new motto was given by our Prime Minister calling for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, which also suggests exploring fields in tech which we haven’t yet focused on. There are also talks on government starting something for a career in e-sports. That is a different story from this.

Prof Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, department of science and technology says that this year this policy could focus more on solving problems like water, energy, waste processing. For the past 6 years, this policy was focused on enhancing the quality and relevance of science and technology.

The STIP 2020 will be divided into four tracks.

Track-I involves extended public and expert consultation and creates a repository of voices; Track-II will focus on experts-driven thematic group consultations for evidence-informed recommendations. For this, 21 thematic groups with over 150 experts have already been constituted. Track-III connects ministries, departments, and States/UTs to create regional ecosystems and action plans. Track-IV will integrate inputs from all the tracks and engage stakeholders at national and global levels.

The union science minister has clearly stated that in this policy, people will need to contribute. He said  “Even a layman can sometimes give the best of solutions. The policy will help us in blending research and development with indigenous thinking. There are already so many things delivered within labs but in the journey from labs to industry and to the people at affordable prices there are bottlenecks,”.

Let’s see whether the new STIP policy will really build on the opinions of the people. Or will it really be people-centric? Will it be able to solve the problems which we are facing, as stated above, or will the citizens of Atmanirbhar Bharat will be able to contribute anything significant?

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