India Rising

Courtesy
SCIENCE IN INDIA
Richard Stone


At the Indian Science Congress last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to hike R&D expenditures from around $3 billion last year to $8 billion in 2017. The windfall is meant to turbocharge initiatives to create elite research institutions, bring expatriate Indian scientists home, enrich science education, and equip smart new laboratories. Included in this push is South Asia’s first biosafety level–4 lab for handling the most dangerous pathogens, slated to be up and running this spring. Over the next 5 years, an estimated $1.2 billion in public funds will be funneled to a new National Science and Engineering Research Board. Modeled after the U.S. National Science Foundation, the board is expected to fund its first competitive grants this year. Researchers will have to clear some daunting hurdles, though.


In an exclusive interview with Science, Singh explained how his government plans to “increase gradually the proportion of money that is spent on R&D and at the same time create a system of incentives which will induce the private sector to increase their spending on science and technology.”

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