Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: STIP 2020

Mains level: india's endeavours in STI

The Department of Science and Technology has published the draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy and has invited suggestions from the public.

Q.The STIP, 2020 contains radical and progressive proposals that could be game-changers for not just the scientific research community, but also for the way ordinary Indians interact with Science. Discuss.

STIP, 2020

Aim: To identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian STI ecosystem to catalyse socio-economic development of the country and also make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.

The philosophy behind

  • Unlike previous STI policies which were largely top-driven in the formulation, this policy follows core principles of being decentralized, evidence-informed, bottom-up, experts-driven, and inclusive.
  • It aims to be dynamic, with a robust policy governance mechanism that includes periodic review, evaluation, feedback, adaptation and, most importantly, a timely exit strategy for policy instruments.
  • The STIP will be guided by the vision of positioning India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come; to attract, nurture, strengthen, and retain critical human capital through a people-centric STI ecosystem

The Open Science Framework

Open Science fosters more equitable participation in science through-

  • Increased access to research output;
  • Greater transparency and accountability in research; inclusiveness;
  • Better resource utilization through minimal restrictions on reuse of research output and infrastructure and
  • Ensuring a constant exchange of knowledge between the producers and users of knowledge

Inclusion principles

  • The STIP proposes that at least 30 per cent representation be ensured for women in all decision-making bodies, as well as “spousal benefits” are provided to partners of scientists belonging to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Among the proposals in the policy is the removal of bars on married couples being employed in the same department or laboratory.
  • As of now, married couples are not posted in the same department, leading to cases of loss of employment or forced transfers when colleagues decide to get married.
  • The policy says that for age-related cut-offs in matters relating to the selection, promotion, awards or grants, the “academic age” and not the biological age would be considered.

Funding improvements

  • At 0.6% of GDP, India’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) is quite low compared to other major economies that have a GERD-to-GDP ratio of 1.5% to 3%.
  • This can be attributed to inadequate private sector investment (less than 40%) in R&D activities in India; in technologically advanced countries, the private sector contributes close to 70% of GERD.
  • STIP has made some major recommendations in this regard, such as the expansion of the STI funding landscape at the central and state levels.
  • It has enhanced incentivisation mechanisms for leveraging the private sector’s R&D participation through boosting financial support and fiscal incentives for industry.

Other key Proposals

  • STIP will lead to the establishment of a National STI Observatory that will act as a central repository for all kinds of data related to and generated from the STI ecosystem.
  • The “One nation, one subscription” policy to establish a system whereby all researchers in India can access research published in top international journals for no cost.
  • All data used in and generated from public-funded research will be available to everyone (larger scientific community and public) under FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) terms.
  • Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) will be established, that bring together industries, MSMEs, startups, R&D institutions and HEIs with the government.
  • Industry clusters will be encouraged and incentivized wherever necessary, to engage in collaborative R&D.
  • Opportunities for foreign MNCs to invest in the country’s STI landscape will be strengthened and made more accessible.
  • It proposes lateral entry of scientists up to 25 per cent of scientists in related ministries.

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