Unlocking Innovation and Scientific Thinking in India

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2014 /
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CV Raman

The economic liberalisation of 1991 was the second independence in Indian history. It represented a tectonic shift in policies, the start of the end of ‘licence raj’, and unshackled the growth of the country. Time has come for the third
independence of India, the liberalisation of the academic, science and technology ecosystem in the country.

Historically, the growth of countries has been driven by continual advances in science and technology. According to Robert Solow, Nobel Prize winner in economics, capital and labour are not the only things that drive economic growth, half the economic growth in the US since World War II can be traced to advances in science and technology. Even China has realised this. At the current rates, China’s commitment to R&D is expected to surpass that of the US by 2022, when both countries are likely to reach about $600 billion in R&D. Unfortunately, successive governments in India have only provided lip service to the science and technology sector. Moreover, simply allocating money for science and technology is not in itself sufficient to drive economic growth. The new Government has the opportunity and the mandate to liberalise the Indian science and technology ecosystem, which is the transformative step required to take the Indian economy to the next level.

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The economic liberalisation of 1991 was the second independence in Indian history. It represented a tectonic shift in policies, the