V. V. Krishna, Science, Technology and Society, 2021.
Abstract: India was perhaps the only country among the developing world with a colonial past to have organised and established a national science community much before it attained its independence. Nehruvian science and technology (S&T) policy in India's formative years left a distinct imprint in the post-colonial and post-independent India. With a huge population of nearly 1.35 billion people, India has not been dependent on food from outside countries since the 1960s. Green and White Revolutions have made immense contributions to develop scientific and technical capacities in agriculture. India's innovation system, including higher education, has given her some comparative advantage through 'human capital' in information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, space research and so on. In export promotion and economic competitiveness in technology-based industries, we lag compared with East Asian 'Dragons'. India's informal sector poses a formidable challenge with more than 95% of the total labour force, about 550 million, 90% of which is 8th class dropouts. When we begin to assess our national innovation system, one feature that stands out to research observers is few islands of excellence and vast 'hinterlands' of underdeveloped research potential. There is clearly a gap between theory and practice of science policy in India. Our gross expenditure on research and development as a proportion of gross domestic product remained relatively stagnant and, in fact, receded from 0.8% in the 1990s to 0.7% in 2020. In this period, our neighbour, China, left us far behind in S&T for development.