The central government has initiated a consultation process for the formulation of new science, technology, and innovation policy (STIP 2020). As per the statement, a decentralized, inclusive, and bottom-up process has been jointly initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and The Office to the Principal Scientific Advisor to GOI.
The fifth S&T policy is being formulated at a time when India and the world are tackling and trying to find ways to combat COVID-19 Pandemic. The consultation processes on different tracks have already been started by the government and have been running in parallel. The process will be of six-months which will involve the consultations with all the stakeholders from within and beyond the scientific ecosystem, including industry, academia, government, global partners, civic bodies, young scientists and technologists, and the general public.
As per the Secretary of DST, Ashutosh Sharma, the STI policy for new India will integrate the lessons learned from COVID-19, including building ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat through ST & I (Science, Technology, and Innovation), designs, by leveraging our strengths in R & D (Research and Development), huge markets, diversity and data, demographic dividend, S&T workforce, and institutions.
Formulation Process of STIP 2020 in four highly interlinked tracks:
The sessions of these four tracks have been attended by around 130 members of the 21 thematic groups along with scientists of DST, the office of PSA, and 25 policy research fellows. The formulation process of the four tracks are:
• Track I- It will involve an extensive expert and public consultation process through Science Policy Forum- a dedicated platform created for soliciting inputs from larger public and expert pool during and after the policy drafting process.
• Track II- It will comprise experts driven thematic consultations in order to feed evidence formed recommendations into the policy of drafting processes. Till now, twenty -one focused thematic groups have been constituted for the purpose. The thematic group (TG) consultation started with a series of information sessions last week. During the sessions, the head of Policy Coordination and Programme Monitoring Division of DST, Akhilesh Gupta made the presentation and steered the discussions.
• Track III- It involves consultation with the states and ministries. Nodal officers have also been nominated in ministries and in states, agencies, and departments of Government of India for the extensive intra-department and intra-state consultation.
• Track IV- This track constitutes apex level multi-stakeholder consultation. At this consultation with global partners, industry bodies and inter-state and inter-ministerial consultations at the highest level have been carried out.