INDIAN INSTITUTIONS FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
A strong institutional framework has been developed in India over the years for the promotion and development of science and technology. The Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India is the nodal agency for promotion and development of science and technology in the country as a whole, which is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister being the Minister of Science and Technology also. The Departments under the Ministry of Science & Technology Include Department of Science & Technology (DST), Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT). In addition, there are specialised S&T departments and agencies, such as, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Department of Ocean Development, Defence Research & Development Organisation, and various R&D centres and organisations under several economic ministries. The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) under Ministry of Science & Technology, constituted in 1942, is a multidisciplinary and multidimensional organisation with a network of 40 national laboratories/institutes, two research associations, three regional complexes, nine poly-technology transfer centres and over 100 extension centres. The major functions of CSIR include collection and dissemination of S&T information, technology generation, absorption and transfer.
There are several other R&D institutions and agencies in the country including cooperative research centres, research associations, and in-house R&D centres in industry. India’s university system is also another main source for providing inputs for development and transfer of technologies. There are over 240 universities, 45 institutions deemed to be universities and about 17000 colleges. The five Indian Institutes of Technology; Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, are some of the major academic institutions engaged in research and development activities in addition to their academic programmes, and are expected to maintain interaction to the industry and the government in the area of technology.
The R&D organisations, academic institutions and other scientific organisations have equipped themselves with considerable expertise and infrastructural facilities in terms of equipments, testing facilities, design engineering capabilities, and so on. In fact, these are the institutions which keep themselves abreast with the latest developments taking place elsewhere in the area of science and technology.
There are several international agencies engaged in the promotion of S&T cooperation among developing and developed countries. Some of the important UN organisations engaged in the development of technological capabilities at national level and promotion of technical cooperation among various countries, include UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation), ILO (International Labour Organisation), WHO (World Health Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), FAO (Food & Agriculture Organisation), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Programme), World Bank, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), ESCAP (Economic & Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), etc. The national governments and institutes/organisations of excellence in various countries have also developed linkages and formal arrangements with their counterparts in other countries.
Regional cooperation is also fostered through agencies like the Commonwealth Science Council, Association of Science Cooperation in Asia, and the World Association for Industrial and Technological Research Organisations, etc. India also provides consultancy services to UNDP and UNIDO in many areas, and has also set aside as much as 10% of its total planned budget (known as Indicative Planning Figure) for this cooperation. A major decision to foster regional and south-south cooperation was taken during the 1981 deliberations of the Pondificial Academy of Sciences, Vatican (Italy), largely through the efforts of some leading scientists of the developing countries (Pakistan, India, Kenya, etc.). Accordingly, the UN officially established on July 5, 1985 the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy, CSIR has several cooperation programmes with the Commonwealth Science Council (UK) in its regional rural technology and meteorology programmes for Asia and the Pacific; with UNESCO in regard to Inter-Governmental Oceanographic Commission; CFTRI (Central Food and Technology Research Institute, Mysore) with the UN University (UNU), Tokyo for advanced training and research in post-harvest technology, bio-technology and micro-electronics.
A similar arrangement exists with IRDC (International Research & Development Centre) Canada. Some of the CSIR institutes conduct training courses for science and technology for SAARC countries in areas like ground water exploration, food processing, medicinal plants, low cost housing materials, leather industry, pesticides, information processing and documentation, etc. Besides, CSIR accepts individual trainees from other countries under sponsorship of UN agencies, IDRC, CFTC (Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation), etc. CSIR is also the implementation agency for UNIDO’s Transfer of Technology Programmes between developing countries (Digned in 1982). Under this programme, experts from several Asian, African and Latin American nations have visited India for technology transfer in areas like drugs and pharmaceuticals.
India has strongly supported international collaboration in science and technology and has shared its reservoir of expertise, its infrastructure including training facilities with other nations. We have a large number of on-going bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation programmes in science and technology. DST, having nodal responsibility of coordinating international S&T collaboration, provides support and guidance on interaction with other countries and international bodies on programmes of scientific; technological and economic development. These international S&T arrangements currently with about 45 developed and developing countries facilitate the objective of exploring and identifying mutuality of interests as partners, in terms of concrete bilateral and multi-lateral programmes. Such arrangements are of the nature of holding joint workshops, collaborative research programmes, advance R&D training of scientific manpower, exchange of scientists and building-up of S&T infrastructure. A list of some of the countries with whom S&T collaboration agreements have been made is given in Table- I, along with the indicative areas of collaboration.
TABLE-1 : SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY COLLABORATION AGREEMENT
||Area of Collaboration
||Agriculture, Biotechnology ,Water Resource Management and Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Agricultural Research & Education
||Numerical Models for Analysis and Prediction, Tropical Meteorology & Satellite Meteorology
||Flood Control and River Development
||Silvi-pastoral Research (phase-II) Fish Disease Bibliography Project, Research Projects on Alternate Feeding Schedules & Oyster
||Agriculture, Biotechnology, Medicine, Electronics, Radio Astronomy, Laser S&T
||Agriculture and Rural Development, Exchange of Scientists & Students, Materials and Information, Supply of Equipment and Organisation of Workshops
||Catalysis, Biotechnology, Coal Technology, Building Materials and Metal Composites.
||Electronic Materials, Biotechnology, Laser Optics, Ceramics, Industrial Aluminium, Catalysts , Neurosciences and Machine Tools,
||Food, Health and Housing, Human ResourceDevelopment for Agriculture and Water Resources,Environment and Land Water Reclamation,
Biotechnology and Immunology
||Energy and Agriculture
||Water Resources, Environment & Forestry, and Non-Conventional Sources of Energy
||Pharmaceutical Research, Biotechnology, SolarEnergy, Leather Industry, Micro-electronics andComputers.
||Clean Energy, Genetic Engineering andBiotechnology, Medicinal Research and AromaticPlants, Renewable Sources of Energy; Environment
||Coal Mining, Thermal Power Generators, BuildingMaterials, Materials Science, Aeronautic Sciences,Fur Technology, Leather Technology,
Instrumentation, Krill Fishing and Processing, and
Biotechnology and Immunology
||Rapeseed/Mustard Cultivation, Remote SensingApplication.
||Integrated Long-term Programme of Cooperation(ILTP) in areas-Building Materials, PowderMetallurgy, Joint manufacture and use of Electron
Accelerators, Catalysts for conversion of Methane to Diesel Fractions, Fertilizer and Polymer
||Integrated Development of Western Ghats, SocialForestry, Paper Mills.
||Water Resources, Atomic Energy
||Seismic Survey in Offshore regions, Atomic Energyand Agricultural Research.
India has been actively involved in science and technology development programmes run by UN and other international agencies mainly to strengthen its technological capabilities in identified sectors and sharing its expertise and capabilities with other developing countries. Several international institutions such as, Asia & Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTI) at Bangalore, Indo-French Centre for Promotion of Advanced Research at New Delhi, Centre for Science & Technology of Non-Aligned and other developing countries at New Delhi (NAM Centre), International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi have been set up in India with the support of international agencies. The Govt. of India has evolved a special programme known as “Technical Cooperation with Developing Countries (TCDC)”, under which fellowships are awarded to S&T personnel from Africa and Latin America and also necessary support in terms of training, transfer of technology, etc.; is provided as needed by other countries.
Collaboration programmes with USA & USSR are of significance. The collaborative programmes with USA include new areas, such as fibre-optics, digital electronics, materials science, biotechnology and computers. Collaborative programmes are also in progress), under STI (Science & Technology Initiatives) of National Science Foundation, USA, With USSR, Integrated Long-term Programme of Cooperation in Science & Technology between India and USSR (ILTP) has been in operation for last few years. The areas of cooperation include materials, metallurgy, biotechnology, electronics, chemical industry, etc.
TRADE AGREEMENTS AND PROTOCOLS
The Govt. of India has formal arrangements for trade and commerce with several developed and developing countries, on bilateral and multi-lateral basis, identifying areas of mutual interest including production technologies, training, exchange of information, organising trade fairs and exhibitions, etc. Trade partners include Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Iran, Bangladesh; East Asian Region with countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, China, Singapore; West European countries including EEC (European Economic Community)-Belgium, Denmark, France, FRG, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Portugal; Norwegian countries including Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland and other countries, namely, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus. There are trade agreements and trade protocols with East European countries, such as, USSR, GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria, USA, Canada, Latin America and Caribbean are also major trade partners of India. Trade relations also exist with West Asian and North African Countries (WANA) and Sub Sahara Africa. There are several joint commissions and joint business councils with many of the above countries which also deal with cooperation in manufacturing technologies and transfer of technologies.
INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES
There are several industrial associations, such as, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHEM) etc. which are formed mainly by various industries to represent their interests to the govt. and also provide a link between Govt. and industry. Many of these organisations have information/data bases concerning trade and technology, and organise technology oriented programmes for the benefit of the industry from time to time. CEI has recently started Total Quality Management Programmes (TOM) to educate the industry about the technological and quality requirements at international levels and also how to achieve those standards for Indian products. The Govt. has set up several specialised facilities, such as, training centres, test and development centres, advanced design centres for computers, tool rooms, information centres, etc. for the benefit of the industry. Specialised agencies such as National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Small Industries Development Centres (SIDC), have been particularly set-up for small industries. The financial institutions are also now actively supporting technical and technological efforts of enterprises and have even set up specialised organisations, such as, Technology Development & Information Company of India (TDICI) at Bangalore, and Risk Capital & Technology Finance Corporation (RCTFC) at New Delhi. Venture Capital Schemes and Companies have also come up in the recent past. Consultants play an important role in the acquisition, transfer and development of technology. The enterprise can identify competent consultancy organisations/consultants relevant to its areas of operations and develop necessary linkages with them by way of utilising their services in any area of interest. Consultancy services are generally effective and provide solutions to problems on case to case basis. Consultants can also help in developing linkages and utilisation of facilities available at national institutions or elsewhere.