Monday, May 27, 2013

SPP Article "Emerging technologies in India: Developments, debates and silences about nanotechnology" by Koen Beumer and Sujit Bhattacharya

Emerging technologies in India: Developments, debates and silences about nanotechnology
by Koen Beumer and Sujit Bhattacharya
Science and Public Policy, 2013, doi: 10.1093/scipol/sct016 . First published online: May 22, 2013

In the last decade nanotechnology entered the policy arena as a technology that is simultaneously promising and threatening, and with a similar Janus-like face, nanotechnology entered the development agenda. How does a developing country like India deal with nanotechnology? Combining a quantitative and qualitative approach, this paper outlines the developments, discussions, and silences concerning nanotechnology in India. The nanotechnology landscape in India is dominated by government initiatives. Government investments led to a steady rise in global publication rankings, scientific collaborations and the number of institutions involved. This growth is mainly rooted in fundamental research and public research institutes. Industry involvement and patenting activity are at a nascent stage and developing slowly. Issues that were raised in the Indian context relate to funding, capacity, commercialization, regulation of risks, and the distribution of benefits. Nanotechnology is positively viewed across the board, with notable silences on ethical issues and the relation to the public.

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