Following the release of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 (STIP2020) draft by the government, All India Peoples Science Network (AIPSN) has raised multiple pertinent questions in its response statement.
The draft of the policy was released in English online and a feedback response date of January 25 had been fixed. Two days before the date, the deadline was extended to January 31.
Pointing to the biggest weakness of the policy draft -- that the policy is not rooted in the economic and industrial scenario of the country -- the statement read, “[T]he draft STIP2020 does not take cognizance of the present state of Science, Technology and Innovation in India, and put forward a policy that starts from where we are and leads to where we want to go. Similarly, the suggestions proposed do not also reckon with the institutional and systemic weaknesses or strengths. In this context, the very feasibility and utility of the draft STIP2020 are open to question, however nice this or that proposal sounds.”
Emphasising the importance of penetration of basic infrastructure facilities such as internet, electricity, roads, water, etc., it further reads, “[F]or inclusive and sustainable growth, it is important to first chart the practical steps for effective implementation of S&T policies. Such an approach is needed for balanced and integrated development taking into account the social and environmental aspects.”
It also says, “This is yet another cardinal mistake in the draft STIP2020; following the present Governments idea that manufacturing in India by foreign companies/MNCs directly or through FDI in junior Indian partners, is also “Make in India” and also represents Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Nothing could be further from the truth. The draft STIP2020 is extremely permissive to imports, and by this route it plans to achieve " Atmanirbhar Bharat" and India's emergence as the third global power in STI! And for that, science is now given a new role: "S&T for diplomatic benefits" and "diplomacy for S&T development"! In this draft STIP2020, the Indian Diaspora are to serve as conduits in the mercantilist exploitation of science, in which India's intellectual resources, like her scientists, will be the basic inputs in this Atmanirbhar Bharat's Global Assembly Line.”
Read the full text of the statement here.
Also read: STIP2020: An Untied Balloon, Pursuing its Own Vague Course