Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, while addressing at a forum, organized jointly by his office, Department of Public Enterprises and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that there are various levels of R&D for conventional research, futuristic research, research for addressing new problems and research for addressing unknown problems.
He further mentioned that R&D is not only influenced by the quantum of investment, but also by the quality. PSA further mentioned that the Technology Group, constitution of which has been recently announced by the Govt. of India will primarily have three roles – policy, procurement and R&D. He also mentioned that this group shall function to ensure and help the PSUs to be successful.
The Technology Group shall have the Secretaries from Space, Atomic Energy, Defence, IT, MeiTY and DST and secretaries of other departments would be invited depending on the subject being dealt.
The Technology Group shall also have a 20-member Advisory Panel – 10 from the industry and 10 from academia. Thus the Technology Group shoul provide an extraordinary opportunity for all the stakeholders to collaborate for social good and global competitiveness.
Sailesh, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India mentioned that while CPSEs play a dominant role in our economy, it is important that CPSEs diversify into new areas. He stated that R&D is an essential activity and growth follows when investments in R&D is stepped up. He further highlighted that CPSEs must innovate, produce and expand their presence in India and abroad.
In his address, Mr Rajesh K Chaudhry, Additional Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India stated that India must reposition itself from being the net consumer of R&D to net producer of R&D. Globally, 10-12 countries are primarily contributing to the major share of R&D and there is a need to enhance India’s commitment to R&D.
While sharing the detailed statistical data of R&D in CPSEs, he emphasized that they must increase R&D expenditure and also promote and retain R&D talent, and that government shall provide full support for the same.
With India aspiring to be the $ 5 trillion economy, Arabinda Mitra , Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India highlighted that the present forum is topical, timely and important. He emphasized that research and innovation have emerged as the most powerful storehouse that is impacting the survival of enterprises worldwide.
He stated that the new models of synergistic partnerships need to be evolved to bolster the innovation ecosystem and encourage PSE’s enhanced investment in R&D. He also mentioned that the Office of the PSA has launched City Knowledge and Innovation Clusters as powerful tool for R&D collaborations.
Mita Karajagi, Senior Director, C- DAC, Pune mentioned that collaboration among various institutions is of prime importance to take the innovations and technologies to market. She further mentioned that CDAC has been working on diverse applications including futuristic technologies, oil applications, genomics/ drug discovery, disaster management, missile technologies etc.
In his Opening Remarks, Mr B N Satpathy, Senior Consultant, Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India stated that CPSEs have played an important role in catalyzing the economic growth of India.
As the major driving force behind the country’s rapid industrialization in the post-independence period, CPSEs have richly contributed to India’s technological prowess. They also have been contributing significantly to the overall R&D spend in the country.
Satpathy highlighted that the objective of the forum will be to assess the R&D plan of select PSUs for the next two years, overview the proposed R&D activities under the amended CSR guidelines and finalize a strategy for scaling up of R&D investment by CPSEs.