Science and Technology Development in India

Science and Technology Development in India.

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Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising that it is a key element for economic growth. India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world. With more and more multinational companies setting up their R&D centres in India, the sector has seen an uptrend in investment in recent years.

India is among the top countries globally in the field of scientific research, positioned as one of the top five nations in the field for space exploration. The country has regularly undertaken space missions, including missions to the moon and the famed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). India is likely to take a leading role in launching satellites for the SAARC nations, generating revenue by offering its space facilities for use to other countries.

The government has introduced multiple policies aimed at projecting India as a science and technology powerhouse and promoting both public and private sector involvement in the R&D practice. As a result, India’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) has been consistently increasing over the years. The government has also implemented several fellowship schemes to nurture human capacity for advanced research in the country.


By 2022, R&D expenditure is targeted to reach about 2% of the country’s GDP. The engineering R&D and product development market in India is forecast to post a CAGR of 12% to reach US$ 63 billion by 2025, from US$ 31 billion in 2019. As per the Economic Survey 2022, India’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) as a percentage of GDP stood at 0.66%.

IT spending in India will grow 7% YoY to reach US$ 101.8 billion in 2022, compared to U$ 81.89 billion in 2021. India’s medical technology sector is forecast to reach US$ 9.6 billion in 2022.

In FY21, there were 5,018 R&D projects, 2,528 fellowships, 3,702 publications, 30,532 ongoing projects and 797 innovations in India.

In FY21, the science and technology sector added 1,497,501 employees, becoming India’s top employment generator.

Accenture offers a framework for assessing the economic effect of AI for selected G20 countries in its latest AI research studies and forecasts that AI will raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% by 2035. India’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy prepared by NITI Aayog outlined a way forward to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in different fields.


Some of the recent developments in the field of science and technology in India are as follows:

  • In August 2022, a centre of excellence (CoE) for the Metaverse and Web3 technologies was opened in India by Coforge, a provider of digital services and solutions. Over 1,000 people will be trained and upskilled by the company.
  • In August 2022, Samsung announced that it was expanding its industry-academia program PRISM (Preparing and Inspiring Student Minds) across 70 engineering colleges in India. The program will help educate students in the domains of artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT.
  • Technology incubator T-Hub launched the semiconductor companion of the AIC T-Hub Foundation programme to develop innovation and entrepreneurship across the semiconductor sector startups.
  • Actis, a global investor in sustainable infrastructure, is planning to invest over US$ 700 million in order to acquire and expand assets for its platform aimed at offering real estate to tenants in the life sciences and allied sectors in India.
  • In March 2022, Toyota launched its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car in India. The Indian Oil Corporation would be supplying hydrogen to power the car.
  • India’s Top 5 IT firms (TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and Tech Mahindra) added more than 122,000 employees in in the first six months of FY22, nearly matching the 138,000 employees hired in the entirety of FY21.
  • In October 2021, Biz2Credit, a fintech company, announced plan to invest US$ 100 million in India over the next five years on research and development activities and expansions.
  • From 2014 to 2021, India recorded a 572% growth in patent approvals.
  • To accelerate digital innovation in India, NITI Aayog, Amazon Web Services and Intel have come together to develop a new experience studio to boost problem-solving and innovation between government stakeholders, start-ups, enterprises and industry experts. The new experience studio will use technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain and robotics to accelerate their use in the public sector.
  • TechnoPro, a Japanese tech firm, plans to hire 10,000 engineers and researchers in India by 2022-23.
  • Qualcomm plans to invest US$ 8.5 million on design initiatives in India, which would include funding its innovation labs at Hyderabad and Bangalore for R&D.


Some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government of India to promote science and technology in India are:

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has received 31 bids from manufacturers showing interest in developing the vaccine for the monkeypox virus after the medical body put out the Expression of Interest (EOI) for the development of vaccine and diagnostic kits.
  • In 2021-22, African Centers of Excellence in a few specific scientific fields were strengthened by twinning with Indian institutes in order to carry out the Africa-India S&T Initiative Program by the Department of Science and Technology.
  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST) has revamped the FIST (Fund for Improvement of S & T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions) programme to align it with the objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat by developing R&D infrastructure for use by start-ups, manufacturing companies, and MSMEs, in addition to R&D operations in academic organisations.
  • The Women Science programme of DST has started a new initiative to support women PG colleges under the CURIE (Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities) Program and invited proposals for the same.
  • Under the Union Budget 2022-23, the government announced allocation of Rs. 14,217 crore (US$ 1.86 billion) to the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Department of Atomic Energy was allocated Rs. 22,723.58 crore (US$ 2.97 billion), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) was allocated Rs. 6,000 crore (US$ 785.64 million), and the Ministry of Earth Sciences was allocated Rs. 2,653.51 crore (US$ 347.45 million).
  • To further India with High-Performance Computing (HPC), four new Supercomputers have been installed since July 2021 – one each at IIT-Hyderabad, NABI- Mohali, CDAC-Bengaluru, and IIT Kanpur.
  • Synergistic Training Program Utilizing the Scientific and Technological Infrastructure (STUTI), a new initiative, was recently unveiled with the goal of enhancing human resource development and capacity building through nationwide open access to science and technology infrastructure.
  • The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has partnered with Intel India to launch a first-of-its-kind initiative to advance deep tech-based research in India.
  • In November 2021, the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences, in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), launched the India International Science Festival 2021, a unique platform, with its theme being celebration of creativity in science, technology and innovation for a prosperous India
  • In November 2021, Atal Innovation Mission and Vigyan Prasar collaborated to drive synergies between Atal Tinkering Labs and Vigyan Prasar’s unique platform, Engage With Science.
  • In October 2021, the government announced plans to establish 75 science technology & innovation hubs in India for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) and empower them to contribute to the socio-economic improvement of the country.
  • In October 2021, the government launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA) to accelerate technology advancements and strengthen the space sector in the country.
  • In October 2021, India and Denmark agreed for a five-year plan to implement green strategic partnership for enhancing collaboration in various areas including science and technology.
  • In October 2021, India and Europe held discussions to review the progress on science and technology bilateral cooperation and strengthen efforts on research and innovation.
  • On September 27, 2021, DRDO tested a new version of the Akash Missile, Akash Prime, equipped with an active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy.
  • In September 2021, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, launched the ‘AmritGrand Challenge Programme’ called ‘JANCARE’. This programme has been launched to identify 75 start-ups in several sectors such as telemedicine, digital health and mHealth with Big Data, AI, blockchain and other technologies.
  • In September 2021, Atal Innovation Mission and Dassault Systèmes announced their plan to set up an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem across India.
  • In August 2021, the central government approved Deep Ocean Mission (DOM), which will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs. 4,077 crore (US$ 548.54 million) for five years. The mission is a multi-ministerial, multi-disciplinary programme to develop deep-sea technologies such as manned submersibles (that are rated for 6,000-metre water depth) and enable deep-sea mining, exploration of deep-sea mineral resources and marine biodiversity, acquisition of a research vessel to explore oceans, conduct deep-sea observations and build capacities in marine biology research.
  • India initiated a landmark policy called Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 with core vision of being decentralized, evidence informed, bottom-up, experts-driven, and inclusive. The policy aims to be bring-in the concept of ‘dynamic policy’ with a robust policy governance mechanism incorporating features such as periodic review, policy evaluation, feedback, and adaptation, and a timely exit strategy for various policy instruments.


India ranks third among the most innovative lower-middle-income economies in the world. Rising per capita income in India will bring boom in R&D investment in the country with multiple foreign players shifting R&D bases to India. R&D investment and multiple government policies have helped Indian companies overcome tight competition with affordable products internationally.

India plans to move forward with developing its science and technology sector by collaborating with other countries. India has active bilateral science and technology (S&T) programs of cooperation with more than 45 countries, including dedicated programs for Africa, ASEAN, BRICS, EU and neighboring countries. In 2021, India also collaborated with Denmark and agreed for a five-year plan to implement green strategic partnership for enhancing partnership in various areas, including science and technology.

India is aggressively working towards establishing itself as a leader in industrialisation and technological development. Significant developments in the nuclear energy sector are likely as India looks to expand its nuclear capacity. Moreover, nanotechnology is expected to transform India’s pharmaceutical industry. The agriculture sector is also likely to undergo a major revamp with the government investing heavily for a technology-driven green revolution. The Government of India, through the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy-2013, among other things, aspires to position India among the world’s top five scientific powers.

References – Media Reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2022-23