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NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS

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A Case of India

Policy Measures By Government Of India

Most of the policy measures by the Government are in the form of guidelines, suggestions, support measures and awards for motivation; a few are mandatory in nature. Ministry of Science and Technology is the nodal Ministry for promotion of innovation in the country but a number of Ministries/Departments of the Government have initiated various measures specific to the industry/area they deal with. There is a proper system of coordination between the various Ministries/Departments. The Federal Government provides financial resources and these are allocated in the annual budgets of respective Ministries/Departments.
Policy measures by the Government are highlighted in the ensuing paragraphs.

Science and Technology Policy 2003
www.dst.gov.in
The Ministry of Science and Technology enunciated a Science and Technology Policy in 2003. The Scientific Policy Resolution of 1958 and the Technology Policy Statement of 1983 enunciated the principles on which the growth of science and technology in India has been based over the past several decades The Policy of 1983 lays down the current directions in which the Government intends to promote innovation in the country and steps and strategies required for implementation with clearly defined tasks, estimates of necessary resources required and time targets for achievements.
The aims of the Policy are:

  • To ensure that the message of science reaches every citizen of India, man and woman, young and old, so that the country advances scientific temper, emerges as a progressive and enlightened society. Indeed science and technology will be fully integrated with all spheres of national activity.
  • To ensure food, agricultural, nutritional, environmental, water, health and energy security of the people on a sustainable basis.
  • To mount a direct and sustained effort on the alleviation of poverty, enhancing livelihood security, removal of hunger and malnutrition, reduction of drudgery and regional imbalances, both rural and urban and generation of employment, by using scientific and technological capabilities along with our traditional knowledge pool.
  • To vigorously foster scientific research in universities and other academic, scientific and engineering institutions; and attract the brightest young persons to careers in science and technology.
  • To promote the empowerment of women in all science and technology activities and ensure their full and equal participation.
  • To provide necessary autonomy and freedom of functioning of all academic and R&D institutions so that an ambience for truly creative work is encouraged, while ensuring at the same time that the science and technology in the country is fully committed to its social responsibility and commitments.
  • To use the full potential of modern science and technology
  • To accomplish national strategic and security-related objectives, by using the latest advances in science and technology.
  • To encourage research and innovation in areas of relevance for the economy and society, particularly by promoting close and productive interaction between private and public institutions in science and technology.
  • To substantially strengthen enabling mechanisms that relate to technology development, evaluation, absorption and up gradation from concept to utilization.
  • To establish an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime which maximizes the incentives for the generation and protection of intellectual property by all types of inventors.
  • To ensure, in an era in which information is key to the development of science and technology, that all efforts are made to have high-speed access to information, both in quality and quantity, at affordable costs; and also create digitized, valid and usable content of Indian origin.
  • To encourage research and application for forecasting, prevention and mitigation of natural hazards, particularly, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and landslides
  • To promote international science and technology cooperation towards achieving the goals of national development and security, and make it a key element of international relations
  • To integrate scientific knowledge with insights from other disciplines, and ensure fullest involvement of scientists and technologists in national governance.

The implementation strategy is as follows:

  • Suitable mechanisms for science and technology governance
  • Optimal utilization of existing infrastructure and competence
  • Strengthening of the infrastructure for science and technology in academic institutions
  • New funding mechanisms for basic research
  • Human resource development, technology development, transfer and diffusion
  • Promotion of innovation
  • Industry and scientific R&D
  • Indigenous resources and traditional knowledge
  • Technologies for mitigation and management of natural hazards
  • Generation and management of intellectual property
  • Public awareness of science and technology
  • International science and technology cooperation
  • Fiscal measures
  • Monitoring

Innovation in Tenth Five-Year Plan

www.planningcommission.gov.in
India follows a system of planned economy. The development plans are drawn up on a five-year basis and modifications are carried out from time to time based on changing environment and needs. The Planning Commission of India in close coordination with other Government and non-Government organizations undertakes the entire planning process. Innovation forms an important part of the development process. In the current plan (2002-2007) the focus is on innovation in various fields, strengthening application oriented research and development for technology generation, promotion of human resource development, especially in terms of encouraging bright students to take up science as a career, encouraging research in and application of science and technology for forecasting, prevention and mitigation of natural hazards, integrating the developments in science and technology with all spheres of national activity; and harnessing science and technology for improving livelihood, employment generation, environment protection and ecological security. It also stresses on interface between industrial research and development institutions and the academia.

Protection of Innovator’s Intellectual Property Rights
Sound Intellectual Property Rights systems motivate innovation. The systems assume new dimensions in the current scenario. While the intellectual property rights systems in India date back to a century and a half, their role is now undergoing a paradigm shift from being an utility office to a service oriented, efficient body with a corporate look. In all industrial economies where intellectual assets are the principal source of value, innovation, productivity and growth, the demand for strong, efficient and effective intellectual property administration is increasingly being felt. Major forms of intellectual property in India are Patents, Industrial Designs, Trade Mark, Copy Rights, and Geographical Indications. There are specific acts/rules in respect of each one of these, which protect the property by law. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (www.ipindia.nic.in), an attached office of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (www..dipp.nic.in ) is the concerned organization for granting protection to patents, designs, trade marks and geographical indications and Department of Secondary and Higher Education (www.education.nic.in) for the copy right (www.copyright.gov.in). The laws on IPR in India have recently undergone changes to be in line with the requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The procedural system of protecting intellectual property is also being streamlined and rationalized so as to make it more efficient and user friendly. An Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is also being made operational for dealing with appeals against the decisions of the granting authorities. The modernization efforts include simplification of rules and procedures, preparation for manuals for patent office procedures, establishment of a ‘virtual’ patent office, development of an IT strategy plan and development of modified patent examination procedures.
There has recently been an increase in number of patents applied and granted. The number applied increased from 4824 numbers in 1999-00 to 17466 in 2004-05.

Table 2: Number of Patents applied and granted 1999-00 to 2004 - 05 Img
graph7
(Source: Annual Report of The controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, 2004-05, Ministry of Commerce and Industry,
Government of India, New Delhi)

Technology Import Policy
www.dipp.nic.in
Policy for import of technology has been changing from time to time. Prior to 1991, the policy was quite restrictive. The Government then evaluated almost all proposals for technology imports and only those technologies were allowed for import, which were considered important in the national interest.

With liberalization in various spheres of economy and industrial activity, the policy for import of technology has also been substantially liberalized. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion formulates the Policy, in association with other Ministries and Departments of the Government and non-government organizations. As per the current Policy, technology can be imported through either the automatic route or the non-automatic route. To be eligible for import under the automatic route, an importer has to fulfill certain parameters laid down by the Government. Major conditions are

  • Lump sum payment does not exceed US $ 2 million
  • Royalty payment is limited to 5% for domestic sales and 8 % for exports, without any restriction on the duration of the royalty payments. The royalty limits are net of taxes.
  • Proposals which attract compulsory licensing
  • Items of manufacture are not reserved for manufacture in the small-scale sector.

Those that fall under the Automatic route are required to apply to Reserve Bank of India and a reply is received from the Bank in about 15 days time.
Those who do not fall under the automatic route are required to apply to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA) and after due examination, the importer is informed if it could import the technology or not. Generally the decision of the Government is known within 4-6 weeks of making the application. The Government has also specified upper limits of equity holdings by foreign companies (called sectoral caps) to be eligible under automatic approval. However in most of the cases foreign direct investment up to 100 % is permissible under the automatic route. Those who propose higher equity than the permissible limit under the automatic route is required o apply to Government for permission.

Research & Development Cess Act
There is a cess on payments made for importing technology in the country. The amount so collected is used for supporting innovation and development of indigenous technology. Under the Research and Development Cess Act 1986 a cess of 5 % is levied on all payments made towards technology imports. (www.tdbindia.org/cess.htm) This covers payments made towards import of technology, payment made towards cost of drawings and designs in terms of any foreign collaboration agreement, payment made to foreign collaborators or to any other person for or in connection with deputation of technical personnel in India in terms of any foreign collaboration agreement and any other payment towards import of technology permitted by the Government. Department of Science and Technology is the nodal Department concerning this Act.

Other Measures by Ministries/Departments of Government of India
Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM)
The Council looks at issues at the policy level and prepares road map in science and technology for future growth of nation. The Members of the Council are from Government departments, industry, academia and R&D organizations.

Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C)
The Committee renders advice on science and technology policies and programmes of the Government and their implementation. It also identifies and recommends measures that would enhance country’s technological capabilities in various sectors. It also suggests inter-alia Government policies on innovation. The Members of the Committee are from Government, R&D organizations, educational institutions, industry and others.

Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (PSA to GOI)
psa.gov.in

Major functions of the office are (i) Evolving policies, strategies and missions for generation of innovations and support systems for multiple applications, and
(ii) Generating science and technology tasks in strategic, economic and social sectors in partnership with Government departments, institutions and industry
The tasks of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (PSA’s Office) involve creation of missions and also undertake multi-departmental, multi-institutional projects in strategic, technology and other areas of economic/ social relevance.
The PSA's Office tries to establish synergy among Government Departments, academic institutions and industry. This Synergy is required because, though the scientific business of the Government is divided amongst various Departments, there are some areas, which fall into nobody’s domain, and there are certain areas that fall into domains of many Ministries/ Departments.

Ministry of Science and Technology
Ministry of Science and Technology is the apex Government Ministry responsible for enhancing innovation in the country. It is headed by a Minister of Cabinet rank. It has three Departments – Department of Science and Technology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Biotechnology, each one has a Secretary as its head. The three Secretaries are internationally renowned scientists. Schemes and measures taken by each of the three Departments are detailed below.

Department of Science and Technology (DST)
www.dst.gov.in
The basic objective of the Department is to encourage and promote science and technology development in the country. It has many schemes and programmes for encouraging and promoting innovation in the country. Important ones are:

  • The Department renders financial support to basic and applied research projects under various fields like chemical and physical sciences, life sciences, energy sciences and others under its Scheme of Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC). During the year 2005-06 it sanctioned 253 projects at a total cost of US$ 10 million. A Nano-science and Technology Mission has been launched to give thrust to basic and applied research in this area. (www.serc-dst.org)
  • Support is provided to enhance international cooperation in science and technology, for setting up Joint centers of excellence for R&D collaborative projects in specific areas and for Networking Research Programme. Visits of scientists for facilitating contacts are also arranged.
  • Facilities of sophisticated analytical instruments are provided in selected research institutes to facilitate R&D activities. This is under the Sophisticated Analytical Instruments Facilities (SAIF) Programme.
  • Financial support is provided to Universities and Colleges for creating basic infrastructure and enabling facilities for promoting high quality teaching and R&D in new and emerging areas. The support inter-alia covers setting up of computer laboratories for computational facilities, for accessing Internet and acquiring books and journals. The support is under the Fund for Improvement of S&T infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutes (FIST) Programme.
  • The Department provides grant-in-aid to professional bodies for holding national/international seminars/symposia, conferences and workshops and for publishing journals on S&T areas.
  • Grant-in-aid is provided to institutions to take up innovative projects to catalyze and support research, development and adaptation of relevant and appropriate technologies for empowering and improving quality of life of artisans and others in rural areas.
  • A number of activities and programmes of the Department foster entrepreneurship amongst the S&T personnel. These aim at creation of techno-entrepreneurship amongst the S&T persons through structured training programmes and other facilitating activities.
  • The Department has supported a number of S&T Entrepreneurship Parks and Technology Business Incubators.
  • There is a major programme of enhancing science communication and popularization. It has been instrumental in devising and developing ways and means for taking science to the people through development, adaptation, promotion and use of different communication methodologies to achieve better public understanding of science and stimulating scientific and technological temper into them.
  • To augment the efforts of State Governments, the Department has set up Science and Technology Councils in various States. Their activities include popularization of science and technology entrepreneurship development, sponsored R&D projects and others.
  • There is a specific programme for supporting R&D in the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector. Under its Pharmaceuticals Research and Development Support Fund (PRDSF) Scheme, R&D Projects in this area, from industry, academic institutes and laboratories are supported.
  • With a view to have suitable mechanism of coordination with various socio-economic Ministries/Departments on Science and Technology programmes, the Department has set up Science and Technology Advisory Committees (STACs) in concerned sectors.
  • Focus has been given to design and development of various types of instruments under the Instrumentation Development Programme (IDP). Innovative projects are supported under the scheme.
  • The Department provides financial support to innovative Research and Development Projects under its Scheme of Technology Development Board (TDB). It is a major programme. During a period of 10 years from its inception in 1996, it has supported 156 projects with a total project cost of around US $ 550 million. The TDB also confers National awards for successful commercialization of indigenous technology. (http://www.tdbindia.com, www.tdbindia.org www.tdbindia.net).
  • It is supporting a large number of programmes for Science and Technology manpower development and promotion.
  • It runs a scheme to empower women with inputs of science and technology.
  • The Department supports a number of institutions that are autonomous in nature for undertaking innovative research programmes in specialized fields, e.g. Astrophysics, Geomagnetism, Powder metallurgy, Himalayan Geology.
  • It has founded and supports an organization – Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
  • Its main objectives are identifying priorities and strategies for research, technology development and technology import; setting up suitable information collection, analysis and implementation groups; and carrying out promotional activities, including programmes for research and technology development. (http://www.tifac.org.in)
  • A few major projects have been taken up in Mission Mode.
  • The Department has established an autonomous body – Vigyan Prasar (Science Popularization) for undertaking large scale science popularization programme
  • It provides support to national academics and professional bodies in the field of science and technology.

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)
www.dsir.gov.in
The primary endeavour of DSIR is to promote innovative R&D by the industries, support a larger cross-section of small and medium industrial units to develop state-of-the art globally competitive innovative technologies of high commercial potential, catalyze faster commercialization of lab-scale R&D, enhance the share of technology intensive exports in overall exports, strengthen industrial consultancy and technology management capabilities and establish user friendly information network to facilitate scientific and industrial research in the country. The Department has a few unique programmes for nurturing and supporting innovation. These are:

  • The Technology Development and innovation Programme of the DSIR has two sub-components, viz. Technology Development and Demonstration Programme to support technology development efforts of industry – R&D system and Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP) to nurture the innovative spirit of individuals.
  • The DSIR has significantly contributed towards enhancing R&D infrastructure in the country. The Department has a large autonomous R&D Organization - Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – www.csir.res.in.
    It has 38 laboratories and 47 regional centers spread all across the country. They carry out industrial research in various fields, from leather to electronics, from chemical to scientific instruments, from genomics and integrative biology to petroleum and others. In addition, the DSIR has assisted in strengthening in-house R&D units in industry and Scientific and Industrial Research Organizations (SIROs). It is the nodal department for according recognition to these two categories of R&D organizations.
  • The Department runs a very unique programme aimed towards enhancing skills and knowledge of managers, academia, consultants, researchers and decision makers in the Government, in the field of technology and innovation management.
  • The DSIR is the nodal Department for a number of fiscal incentives given to industry for undertaking innovative research and development.
  • In order to provide recognition to the efforts of industry towards innovative research and technological development, the DSIR has instituted National Awards for R&D efforts in industry.
  • It is undertaking technology audit in public sector enterprises for technology updating.
  • The DSIR has a Technology Information and Facilitation Programme (TIFP) that has the broad objective of generating endogenous capacities for the development and utilization of digital information.
  • The DSIR supports two autonomous organizations – The Consultancy Development Center (CDC)- http://www.cdc.org.in and the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) – nrdcindia.com. These organizations have a number of Programmes towards enhancing innovations in industry and consultancy organizations.
  • The DSIR has a Gender Budgeting Cell with the objective of identifying areas within the existing schemes to provide support to the gender cause and to identify specific technology and innovation programmes targeted towards women.

Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
www.dbtindia.nic.in
Major programmes of Department of Biotechnology to promote innovation are:

  • The DBT financially supports innovative and outstanding research projects in biotechnology field. It also supports exploratory research programmes in areas that have major potential.
  • To enhance the innovative ability of the institutions with well-developed research programmes in specific areas of biotechnology, it provides support for establishing Centers of Excellence in areas of Biotechnology.
  • The DBT has set up autonomous institutions in areas like immunology, cell sciences, brain research etc It has also established Centers of Excellence in biotechnology field. New Centers are also being supported.
  • The DBT has set up several infrastructure facilities in public funded R&D laboratories and academic institutions for promotion of innovative research in several areas of biotechnology.
  • Development of human resources in multidisciplinary areas like general biology, agriculture biology, medical biology, marine biology, industrial biology etc. is given importance by the Department
  • To encourage innovation and R&D in biotechnology, the DBT has instituted national awards in specific areas. For instance, there are awards like National Bioscience Award for career development, National Women Bioscientists Award and Innovative Young Biotechnologists Award.
  • The DBT has a few innovative programmes for social development. For instance it has Technology development and demonstration and training programmes, which specifically benefit the rural population and weaker sections of the society.
  • Keeping in view the need to create a critical mass of small business units that have the potential to drive the innovation, the DBT has identified a scheme “Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) to encourage public-private partnership in biotechnology sector. Under the scheme, high-risk pre-proof of concept research as well as late stage development in small and medium cos., lead by innovators is supported for development of products and processes which have high social relevance.
  • For initiating R&D work in specified area of biotechnology the DBT provides financial support to research proposals on “Biotech Product and process Development”
    With a view to accelerate the pace of growth in frontier areas of R&D, the DBT has supported a number of international collaborations in the biotechnology field covering various activities
  • .


Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources

www.mnes.nic.in
The Ministry supports R&D for technology and manpower development in renewable energy sources. The R&D support is with close involvement of industrial sector. The support is up to 50% of the R&D project cost. It has also identified thrust areas of R&D such as solar energy, energy from urban and industrial waste etc.

Department of Information Technology (DIT)
www.mit.gov.in
The DIT has taken a number of initiatives for growth and development of Information Technology (IT) sector. A few important programmes are:

  • It has set up an autonomous institution - Media Lab Asia to undertake research and enhance innovation in the IT sector
  • It provides financial support to technology development in frontier areas of IT including telemedicine and bioinformatics. One of the important initiatives has been National Mission on Power Electronics Technology (NaMPET)
  • It supports innovation promotion.
  • It supports programmes for enhancing skills in IT sector.
  • The DIT in conjunction with the DBT is setting up a state-of-the-art infrastructure in the form of a ‘Bio-IT Park’. It has set up Software Technology Parks of India (STEPI) at many places in the country.
  • With a view to promote interaction between the technology developers and users, the DIT has been organizing Electronics and IT Exhibitions.
  • To promote innovation and achievement of excellence, the DIT confers National Awards in different areas.

Ministry of Small Scale Industries
www.ssi.gov.in
As small-scale industry constitutes one of the vibrant sectors of Indian economy, there is a separate Ministry catering to the needs of this sector. A few important programmes are:

  • It provides a comprehensive range of common facilities including technology support services to small-scale units.
  • For supporting development including technology up gradation and innovation, a large infrastructure and support system is provided to small-scale units. These are in the form of Small Industries Service Institutes (SISIs) in each State of the Indian Union, Testing Centers, Tool Rooms, Production cum Process Centers and Workshops
  • It operates a Small Industries Cluster Development Programme for the development of Clusters as a holistic approach including technology development.
  • It operates a scheme – Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) to facilitate technology up gradation in small-scale units. A 12% capital subsidy is offered to those units who induct proven technologies to improve upon the existing technologies in their companies, improvement in productivity etc.
  • For intensive support to small scale units, the Ministry has a an attached Office – Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) http://www.laghu-udyog.com, a public sector enterprise- National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) – www.nsicindia.com and NIESBUD - www.niesbud.com

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)
www..dipp.nic.in
One of the major functions of the DIPP is formulation and implementation of industrial policy and strategies for industrial development in conformity with the developmental needs and national objectives in order to make the Indian industry internationally competitive. A few important steps taken by it to enhance innovativeness in the country are:

  • It had launched an Indian Leather Development Programme, with an allocation of around US$ 95 million, to give a boost to the growth of this sector in the country. One of the components of this initiative is providing financial support to modernization and technology up gradation in all segments of the leather industry.
  • It assists in creation of quality infrastructure in existing clusters/locations with high growth potential requiring strategic interventions. The scheme is being implemented through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) formed by the cluster/industry association at the individual cluster level so as to ensure that the infrastructure development /up gradation is user driven. The scheme is expected to enhance quality, productivity, and innovativeness in the industrial units.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries
www.mofpi.nic.in
There is a vast potential for development of this industry in the country. One of the major thrust areas of the Ministry is to widen and strengthen the R&D base in the food processing industry in the country. A few major programmes are:

  • For technology up gradation and modernization of food processing industry, it provides assistance to the units to the extent of 25% - 33.33% of the project cost.
  • A number of Food Parks have been set up.
  • It is proposing to set up a National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management to meet the growing need food technologists, managers and others.
  • To meet the increasing demand of trained person power, the Ministry is operating a ‘Scheme of Human Resource Development’
  • It provides facilities and incentives for promotion of food processing industry in difficult areas.

Ministry of Steel
www.steel.nic.in
Considering the importance of steel in the country’s development, R&D in this sector has been given considerable importance A few important steps taken are:

  • To guide, support and provide assistance to research and development and innovation in the steel industry, an Empowered Committee has been in existence for quite some time. The Ministry provides financial support.
  • To give a boost to R&D initiatives in iron and steel sector, a Virtual Center is proposed to be set up by revitalizing the existing R&D centers, augmenting human and R&D infrastructure through focused projects and programmes.
  • The Ministry is supporting an innovative scheme for assisting SMEs.The Steel re-rolling mills (SRRM) industry comprises mainly SMEs (about 75% of the total units). The scheme – Energy Efficiency Improvement in Steel Re-rolling Mills would help increase energy efficiency levels and technological obsolescence in this sector. The project would support technology development and demonstration.
  • A Technology Information Resource and Facilitation Center has been planned to provide long term sustainability to the sector through research, technology development and demonstration, design and business support facilities.

Ministry of Environment and Forests
www.envfor.nic.in
The Ministry has several programmes for enhancing research, development and innovation in this sector. A few are:

  • It promotes and supports R&D in environment protection.
  • It has set up 9 Centers of Excellence to promote research and training in priority areas of environmental science and management.
  • It offers Fellowships and has instituted Awards to promote and encourage research in environmental field.

Other Ministries/Departments of the Government

Ministry of Textiles (www.texmin.nic.in ) R&D has been given due importance . There are eight Textile Research Associations receiving financial support from the Ministry of Textiles. They carry out research in various fields as per the requirements of the industry and also provide services like consultancy, testing, training etc.
Ministry of Power (www.powermin.nic.in) Considering the importance of R&D in the power sector, the Ministry has a Standing Committee on R&D which has prepared a perspective R&D plan for the next 15 years and has suggested measures for ensuring optimum utilization of R&D infrastructure. Some of the issues addressed are, need for nodal R&D agency to formulate strategic plans and partnerships, networking and mapping the R&D resources including intellectual capital, strengthening the existing R&D infrastructure, nurturing and developing human resources and funding R&D initiatives. It has also set up a Bureau of Energy Efficiency ( http://bee-india.nic.in) whose mission is to ‘institutionalize’ energy efficiency services, enable delivery mechanisms in the country and provide leadership to energy efficiency in all sectors. The primary objective is to reduce energy intensity in the economy.

Department of Telecommunications (www.dot.gov.in) has a number of Programmes for promotion of standardization and R&D in telecommunications. Financial assistance is also rendered for the furtherance of research and studies in the telecommunications technology and for building up adequately trained manpower for telecommunications programmes, including assistance to institutions, assistance to scientific institutions and to universities for advanced scientific study and research. It also grants scholarships for studies in educational institutions and other forms of financial aid to individuals including those going abroad for studies in the field of telecommunications.

Department of Agricultural Research and Education (dare.nic.in) Research and education in agriculture have been given utmost importance in the country. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body for research in Agriculture in India. Recently, in July 2006, it has launched a National Agricultural Innovation Project to focus on innovation in agricultural technology. ICAR has a vast network of Institutes, Bureau and National Research Centers. There is also a chain of Agricultural Universities in the country.

Department of Secondary and Higher Education (www.education.nic.in) Human resource is an important asset for support and development of science, technology and innovative activities. Considerable emphasis has, therefore, been accorded to this area. The country has some of the finest institutions for higher learning in science, technology and management. The policy of the Department caters to the needs of various category of personnel required in service, manufacturing, research and development organizations.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (www.mohfw.nic.in) Considerable importance is given to research and development in medical sciences including Indian system of medicines. There are a number of autonomous institutions under the Ministry, which conduct research in specific areas. Their innovative efforts provide impetus to the health and family welfare programmes at different levels. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body for research activity in the country.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
www.nmcc.nic.in
Setup in September 2004, it is an inter-disciplinary and autonomous body at the highest level to serve as a policy forum for credible and coherent policy initiatives. It will provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue and to energize and sustain the growth of manufacturing industries and would also suggest various ways and means for enhancing the competitiveness of manufacturing sector in the country. In its report it has inter-alia suggested continued and added focus on innovation.

National Knowledge Commission
www.knowledgecommission.org
The Government has constituted a National Knowledge Commission with the mandate of devising and guiding reforms that will transform India into a strong vibrant knowledge economy in coming years. It was set up in October 2005 and is expected to formulate its detailed recommendations by October 2008. The Commission would focus on key areas of education, science and technology, agriculture, industry and e-governance. It would work towards India achieving a position of globally recognized player in the creation, application and dissemination of knowledge. The Commission works in close collaboration with Central and State Governments, professionals, academics, scientists, regulatory bodies, national think tanks, industry representatives and others. It has laid stress on enhancing innovation in the country.

Case Studies