CSIR-Tech shut down for lack of funds

  1. CSIR Pvt. Tech Ltd. (CSIR-Tech) has been shut down
  2. It is a company affiliated to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and primarily formed to commercialise technology developed by the 75-year-old organisation’s 37 labs
  3. Why shut down? A lack of legal support or funds and delays in executing commercial deals by CSIR labs were among the key impediments to the success of CSIR-Tech
  4. There was no official office memorandum that empowered CSIR-Tech to have exclusive rights to commercialise CSIR’s patent portfolio
  5. All employees had left as of November 2016
  6. Issues with CSIR: Though a repository of myriad technology and innovative scientists, CSIR — the country’s largest patent holder — spends more on keeping its patents active than earning royalty out of them
  7. It has a relatively high rate of commercialising its patents (about 9% compared to a global average of 4%) but these earn too little
  8. Most of CSIR’s revenues are derived from consultancy, and projects for India’s defence and space activities
  9. Tech as a solution: CSIR-Tech was conceived to address this problem
  10. On the anvil since 2008, CSIR-Tech was to be an autonomous company that would hold all of the CSIR’s patent portfolio (2,747 in-force as of 2012) and earn CSIR revenues, either by holding equity in promising startups or earn royalties and licensing fees


Note down important facts for prelims. The larger issue of India being unable to maintain such institutions is of concern and important for mains.

Major Indian science projects hit by legal, political delays: Nobel laureate

  1. What? India isn’t moving fast enough on major scientific projects due to ‘political and legal delays, said David Gross, physicist and 2004 Nobel laureate
  2. India has to go beyond being a minor collaborator in big science research projects and take the lead but there have been inexcusable political and legal delays
  3. China is fast seizing these opportunities


The projects given below are important from prelims as to what are they about and location; and the newscard as a whole is important for a Sci-tech essay or answer.

Back2basics: What are the stalled science projects in India?

India Neutrino Observatory (INO):

  1. It is a massive underground detector of subatomic particles, proposed to come up in Tamil Nadu
  2. The detector is to come up in an ecologically-fragile zone and has invited opprobrium by activist groups
  3. Despite entreaties by scientists that the detector was not a threat to the environment, it is yet to get state-level clearances

Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO):

  1. Govt gave nod last year for having an India-based arm of an observatory to detect gravitational waves, called LIGO
  2. This was after signs of gravitational waves, resulting from the collision of two massive black holes 1.3 billion light-years from earth, were announced last year by a team of scientists across the world, including several from India
  3. PM Modi announced support for LIGO India, last February but there’s been little headway, such as a decision on the location of the detector, since

However, India isn’t the only country to face environmental hurdles to large observatories. A proposed Thirty Metre Telescope in Hawaii is likely to be shifted out after protests by environmentalist groups.

India @ Global Innovation Index, 2016

  1. Ranking rose 15 places to 66th position
  2. Retained the top rank in Information and Communication Technology Service Export
  3. Top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia
  4. Particular strengths in tertiary education and research & development (R&D), including global R&D intensive firms, the quality of its universities and scientific publications
  5. Ranks second on innovation quality amongst middle-income economies
  6. Moved up across all indicators within the Knowledge Absorption sub-pillar
  7. Also recorded a good performance in the GII model’s newly incorporated research talent in business enterprise, where it ranks 31st

Task force to evolve steps to boost India’s innovation ecosystem

  1. What? DIPP has decided to set up a Task Force on Innovation comprising members from the industry and the government
  2. Why? To assess India’s position as an innovative country, suggest measures to enhance the innovation eco-system and thus improve the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII)
  3. India’s ranking in GII-2016 rose 15 places to 66th position

Discuss: It is said that innovation is transforming the way we live and produce. Discuss the impact of innovation on production and living standards with special reference to Indian context.

Govt to set up panel for improving India’s innovation ranking

  1. Aim: To identify, and expeditiously implement, measures to improve India’s innovation ranking
  2. Context: Recently released Global Innovation Index (GII) Report 2016, which shows India jumping 15 spots to a rank of 66 (from 81 in 2015) after five consecutive years of decline

Low govt effectiveness, infra scores check India’s progress on innovation index

  1. News: Despite rising 15 places from 81 last year to 66 in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016, India continues to lag in several areas important for growth of business and industry
  2. Govt effectiveness: Quality of civil services and independence from political pressures and the quality of policy formulation and implementation; India is ranked at 82, the same as last year
  3. Rule of law: quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence; India has moved down from 63 last year to 66 now
  4. Infrastructure: India has stayed put in the 87th rank, not having progressed in the use of information technology

India climbs up in innovation ranking

  1. News: India climbed 15 spots, from 81 last year, to 66 in the Global Innovation Index (GII) and maintained the top spot in the Central and South Asia regions
  2. GII: Released by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  3. India: Scored high on tertiary education and R&D, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication
  4. Ranks first in the world in information and communication technology service exports
  5. Ranks second on innovation quality among middle-income economies, overtaking Brazil

NITI Aayog Launches the Grand Innovation Challenge

  1. News: NITI Aayog launched Grand Innovation Challenge to seek citizens inputs on the key developmental challenges facing India
  2. It is launched on the MyGov portal, to involve citizens at the very first stage in innovating for India’s development
  3. NITI Aayog is leading this goal for India by formulating guidelines for implementing the Atal Innovation Mission
  4. Purpose: To work together with the States and every citizen as Team India to ensure progress. leaving no one behind
  5. Focus: On the social sector and the most vulnerable sections

India ranks 54th in internal policy support to global innovation

  1. Study by: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a global technology policy think tank
  2. Base: Assessing 56 countries – comprising close to 90 per cent of the world’s economy
  3. Criteria: The extent to which economic and trade policies contribute to and detract from innovation globally, on per capita basis
  4. Finding: Strong correlation between countries’ contributions to global innovation and their levels of domestic innovation success
  5. Call of the study: Leading nations should set up a Global Science and Innovation Foundation to fund scientific and engineering research on key challenges

Let’s know about Bharat Innovation Fund?

  1. Bharat Fund is a public-private-academia partnership set up by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).
  2. The Fund was launched by the Prime Minister Modi in September 2015 during the Startup Konnect event in California.
  3. The Fund will be managed and coordinated by CIIE at the IIM, Ahmedabad.
  4. It will support innovation and innovative startups in areas of healthcare and life-sciences, sustainability, and digital technologies.
  5. The Fund will use important tools such as labs, mentorship, funding, and networking to support entrepreneurs who take on hard challenges of an ever-broadening Indian market.

Dept of Biotech and BIRAC to Participate in the Bharat Innovation Fund

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), along with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), has announced its participation in the Bharat Innovation Fund.

  1. The DBT will engage with the Bharat Fund, as part of DBT’s efforts under the Startup India initiative, to help commercialize technologies from its labs and facilities.
  2. The DBT has announced to invest Rs. 50 crore over the next 3 years to support startups through this Fund.
  3. Productive innovations from the DBT can make a huge impact in people’s lives, as has been seen in the advances of medicine in recent years.

Govt. to introduce portal to support innovation

  1. A separate portal would be established under Department of Electronics and IT, aiming to push innovation in the country.
  2. It will enable innovators to seek govt. support for their ideas and products.
  3. Anyone who innovates can put up his innovation on the portal and the department will follow it.
  4. The grassroots level innovation built in such a manner will lead the way towards achieving a truly Digital India.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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