Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are the major catalysts in development and growth. India is leveraging these to ensure faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.The Prime Minister of India, on 25 September 2014 exhorted us on ‘make in India’ policy and action.

In this backdrop, the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, conducted a workshop on "STI for Make in India" on April 10, 2015 at India International Centre, New Delhi, under the ASCI's Academy for Science Policy Implementation and Research* (ASPIRE). 

The focus of the workshop was to explain, enlighten, elaborate, and enumerate the enabling factors which will translate ‘make in India’ into action. The Workshop brought together industry experts, leaders, innovators, members of regulatory authorities and think tanks from industry and academia alike.

While Dr. Parveen Arora, Advisor, NSTMIS, Dept. of S & T, set the tone for the workshop in his welcome address, Shri Tapan Misra, Director, Space Applications Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad, in his inaugural address, elaborated on the RISAT 1 programme of ISRO. He laid emphasis on engaging with private sector within the existing rules and procedures of the government to complete large strategic projects of the government.

The presentations of Dr. H. Purushotham, CMD, NRDC, New Delhi and Mr. Amitabh Shrivastava, CEO, CSIR-Tech, Pune, in the first session, gave a glimpse of the technology transfer regime, the environment for such technology transfer in the country and the potential to enlarge the scope of work. Mr. Anjan Das, Executive Director, CII, in his presentation on “Align India’s Knowledge and Economy for a Sustainable “Make in India”, focused on what industry is actually looking for in terms of policy measures to participate and contribute to ‘Make in India’. He also put forth an argument for tax concessions and tax structure realignment for promoting R&D in industry, the need to come up with a policy on intellectual property, and the need for creating a start-up culture in the country.

Dr. Prabhat Ranjan, ED, TIFAC, DST, New Delhi, in his presentation on “TIFAC activities in promoting innovation,” explained the good work being carried out by TIFAC including the elaborate exercise to map out India’s STI goals for 2035.

In the second session, Dr. N. Mrinalini, Chief Scientist,  CSIR-NISTADS, New Delhi gave a presentation on “Indian Innovation Capability in the context of “Make in India”: A Global Comparative Scenario”. She presented India’s current position compared to BRICS and other countries in terms of GDP, technology and skill intensity of export, global comparison of high technology export, share in world manufacturing, research and development, R&D stake holders, higher education investment, R&D output, global innovation index and global knowledge economy index.

This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Nirmalya Bagchi, Professor, ASCI, on “Models of STI Driven Manufacturing”. Dr.Bagchi presented the various mechanisms for aligning STI with manufacturing for growth in developed countries like Sweden, Finland, and France. He also presented the mechanisms that are leading to the science and technology driven business growth in Israel and argued in favor of adopting some of these mechanisms. He further laid out the contours and the industries in which STI can make a difference in ‘Make in India’ and gave a roadmap to show how STI interventions can lead to success of ‘Make in India’ in the country. In her presentation on Key Drivers Underlying China’s Manufacturing Push: Lessons for India,” Dr G.D.Sandhya, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-NISTADS, New Delhi, gave a comparative scenario between the two countries with respect to the STI parameters that can make a difference in ‘Make in India’.

Dr. Parveen Arora, Advisor, NSTMIS, DST, New Delhi, started the third session with his presentation on “Innovation in Indian Industries: Evidence from the First National Innovation Survey” in which he discussed the important findings of the first national innovation survey. Dr. Arora also laid out a set of recommendations for making STI led manufacturing successful in the country. Dr. Amitav Hazra, KnIDS, New Delhi, and Mr. Mukesh Gulati, Director FMC, New Delhi, highlighted the need to tie up vertical and horizontal linkages in the STI-manufacturing landscape and argued for greater focus on small and micro enterprises in leading the high technology driven manufacturing growth in the country.

Participants highlighted the following points in the intensive roundtable discussion after the third session:

  1. STI has a very important role in ‘Make in India’ and the new STI policy and its implementation needs to be aligned with ‘Make in India’.
  2. For the success of 'Make in India 'it is necessary to focus on the MSMEs as well as large firms. While large firms may need tax related structural interventions, MSMEs need facilitation for STI led manufacturing growth. It is important to see Make for India as a part of ‘Make in India’. It is necessary to lift the firms of our country to a competitive mode so that they are capable of competing globally.
  3. There is a need to strengthen the STI ecosystem to become globally competitive. A comparative analysis of the eco-system as it exists in other BRICS countries, Israel, Japan and South Korea needs to be undertaken. Effective measures in those countries can then be tailored and applied here.
  4. Producing in India is important, but the stress should be on producing the very best in India. Excellence in manufacturing through STI should also be a focal area.

*ASPIRE was launched in 2010 by Department of Science and Technology being incubated in project mode at ASCI, Hyderabad. It aims to provide a common platform for interconnecting and enhancing competencies in policy development and implementation emphasizing Science Technology and Innovation across various stakeholders and arms of the Government leading to evidence based decision making.