Science and Technology have always been an integral part of Indian culture. India is one of the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Indian Science has come to be regarded as one of the most powerful instruments of growth and development, especially in the emerging scenario and competitive economy. The Indian Renaissance, which coincided with our independence struggle, at the dawn of 1900s, witnessed great strides made by Indian scientists.
This innate ability to perform creatively in science came to be backed with an institutional setup and strong state support after the country’s independence in 1947. Since then, the Government of India has spared no effort to establish a modern S&T infrastructure in the country. The Department of Science and Technology plays a pivotal role in promotion of science and technology in the country.
Science and Technology are important drivers of economic growth and development in the contemporary world. It helps the country to achieve sustained and rapid growth. NITI Aayog plays a catalytic role in promoting Science & Technology in the country in association with the central scientific departments/agencies. It is the nodal Vertical for examination and appraisal of the ST programmes of the following major agencies/Departments, viz.
- Department of Science and Technology (DST)
- Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
- Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) including the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- Department of Space (DOS)
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
- Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
- Department of Posts (DoP)
The Ministry Of Science and Technology
The Ministry of Science and Technology is the Indian government ministry charged with formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to science and technology in India.
Department of Science & Technology (DST)
Department of Science & Technology (DST) was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country. The Department has major responsibilities for specific projects and programmes as listed below:
- Formulation of policies relating to Science and Technology.
- Matters relating to the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cabinet (SACC).
- Promotion of new areas of Science and Technology with special emphasis on emerging areas.
- Research and Development through its research institutions or laboratories for development of indigenous technologies concerning bio-fuel production, processing, standardization and applications, in co-ordination with the concerned Ministry or Department;
- Research and Development activities to promote utilization of by-products to development value added chemicals.
- Coordination and integration of areas of Science & Technology having cross-sectoral linkages in which a number of institutions and departments have interest and capabilities.
- Undertaking or financially sponsoring scientific and technological surveys, research design and development, where necessary.
- Support and Grants-in-aid to Scientific Research Institutions, Scientific Associations and Bodies.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is an Indian government department that works under the Ministry of Science and Technology. It is responsible for administrating development and commercialization in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. It was set up in 1986.
- The Department of Biotechnology is the nodal agency supporting research and its applications in the Life Sciences and promotes & accelerates the pace of development and large scale use of biotechnology in the country.
- The department has made significant achievements in the growth and application of biotechnology in the broad areas of agriculture, health care, animal sciences, environment, and industry.
- The department has ensured that through several R&D projects, demonstrations and creation of infrastructural facilities a clear visible impact of this field has been seen.
Functions of DBT
- Promoting large scale use of Biotechnology
- Supporting R&D and manufacturing in Biology
- Responsibility for Autonomous Institutions
- Promoting University and Industry Interaction
- Identifying and Set up Centres of Excellence for R&D
- Integrated Programme for Human Resource Development
- Serving as Nodal Point for specific International Collaborations
- Establishment of Infrastructure Facilities to support R&D and production
- Evolving Bio Safety Guidelines, manufacture and application of cell based vaccines
- Serving as nodal point for the collection and dissemination of information relating to biotechnology.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India. It has been established in 1942 and head quarters are located in New Delhi. CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.
- CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
- It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
- The objectives of the Council are scientific and industrial/applied research of national importance.
- Promotion, guidance and coordination of scientific and industrial research in India including the institution and the financing of specific researchers.
- Establishment and assistance to special institutions or departments of existing institutions for the scientific study of problems affecting particular industries and trade.
- Establishment and award of research studentships and fellowships.
- Utilization of the results of the research conducted under the auspices of the Council towards the development of industries in the country.
- Payment of a share of royalties arising out of the development of the results of research to those who are considered as having contributed towards the pursuit of such research.
- Establishment, maintenance and management of laboratories, workshops, institutes and organisations to further scientific and industrial research.
- Collection and dissemination of information in regard not only to research but to industrial matters generally.
- Publication of scientific papers and a journal of industrial research and development.
Vision & Strategy 2022
- Vision: Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India.
- Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology is named after the founder Director of the CSIR, the late Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. It was instituted in 1957 as the most coveted and revered prize in the field of science and technology in the country.
Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)
It is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology established by an Act of the Parliament of India in 2009 (SERB ACT 2008). It is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Science and Technology and has other senior government officials and eminent scientists as members.
- It was set up for promoting basic research in science and engineering and to provide financial assistance to scientists, academic institutions, Research and Development laboratories, industrial concerns and other agencies for such research.
- To position science and technology as the fulcrum for social and economic change by supporting relevant, competitive and quality scientific research and development.
- As the premier national research funding agency, raise the quality and footprint of Indian science and engineering to the highest global levels in an accelerated mode, through calibrated support for research and development.
- The JC Bose fellowship is awarded to active scientists in recognition for their outstanding performance. The fellowship is scientist-specific and very selective.
- Ramanujan Fellowship is meant for brilliant Indian scientists and engineers from outside India to take up scientific research positions in India, those Indian scientists/engineers who want to return to India from abroad. The fellowship is scientist -specific and very selective.
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was established in 1954. However The Atomic Energy Bill was passed by the Parliament in 1948. Subsequent to that, the Atomic Energy Commission was set up with the first chairman being Homi Bhabha. The apex body of the DAE is the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
- The DAE is headquartered in Mumbai. This department is directly under the Prime Minister of the country.
- This department has 6 research institutions, 5 public sector companies, 3 industrial organisations, 3 service organisations and 3 universities under it. The DAE also supports many other research institutes of eminence in India.
- The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) located in Mumbai is under the DAE.
- The universities under it are Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai; Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad & Mumbai.
Objectives of the DAE:
- Generating electricity from nuclear energy through the use of the naturally available uranium and thorium in India
- Building research reactors and implementing the radioisotopes produced in reactors for application in the fields of agriculture, industry and medicine
- Developing advanced technology in domains like lasers, accelerators, information technology and biotechnology
- Developing materials including strategic and non-nuclear ones like titanium
- Playing a role in national security
Department of Space(DOS)
The Department of Space is an Indian government department responsible for administration of the Indian space program. It manages several agencies and institutes related to space exploration and space technologies. The Secretariat of DOS and ISRO Headquarters are located at Antariksh Bhavan in Bangalore.
- The space activities in the country were initiated With the setting up of Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962,. In the same year, the work on Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Thiruvananthapuram was also started. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established in August 1969. The Government of India constituted the Space Commission and established the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS in September 1972.
The Department of Space (DOS) has the primary objective of promoting development and application of space science and technology to assist in all-round development of the nation. Towards this, DOS has evolved the following programmes:
- Launch Vehicle programme having indigenous capability for launching spacecrafts.
- INSAT Programme for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology, development of education etc.
- Remote Sensing Programme for application of satellite imagery for various developmental purposes.
- Research and Development in Space Sciences and Technology for serving the end of applying them for national development.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
ISRO or Indian Space Research Organisation is India’s space agency founded in 1969 to help develop an indigenous Indian space program. The head quarters of ISRO are located in Bengaluru. It is one of the 6 largest space agencies in the world today.
- ISRO maintains one of the biggest fleets of remote sensing (IRS) and communication (INSAT) satellites catering to the needs of the nation through a network of centres, offices, and research institutes in different parts of the country.
- ISRO functions in the following areas: broadcasting, weather forecasting, disaster management, geographic information systems, navigation, cartography (maps), and telemedicine, distance education satellites, etc.
- ISRO has many facilities each dedicated to a specialised field of study in space. A few of them are as follows:
- Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram
- Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram
- Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota
- Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmadabad
- National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad
ISRO Vision & Objectives
- Vision: ISRO’s vision is stated as “Harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.”
- ISRO Mission
- Design and development of launch vehicles and related technologies for providing access to space.
- Design and development of satellites and related technologies for earth observation, communication, navigation, meteorology and space science.
- Indian National Satellite (INSAT) programme for meeting telecommunication, television broadcasting and developmental applications.
- Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) programme for management of natural resources and monitoring of environment using space-based imagery.
- Space-based Applications for Societal development.
- Research and Development in space science and planetary exploration.