Bhubaneshwar, Jan 3: Noting that India's position in the field of science has been overtaken by China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sought an increase in spending on scientific research to at least two per cent of GDP and enhanced contribution from industry.
“As far as resources are concerned, the fraction of the GDP spent on R&D in India has been too low and stagnant,” he said inaugurating the 99th Indian Science Congress at the sprawling KIIT campus here.
“Over the past few decades, India's position in the world of science had been declining and we have been overtaken by countries like China. Things are changing but we cannot be satisfied with what has been achieved. We need to do much more to change the fate of Indian science,” Singh said.
He said the aim should be to increase the total R&D spending as a percentage of the GDP to two per cent by the end of the 12th Plan period from the current level of about 0.9 per cent.
“This can only be achieved if industry, which contributes about one third of the total R&D expenditure today, increases its contribution.I believe public sector undertakings especially in the engineering sector should play a major role in this expansion,” he said.
In a bid to push research in niche areas, the Prime Minister said the government was examining a proposal to build national capacity and capability in supercomputing which will be implemented by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore.
He said there is another proposal for setting up a Neutrino Observatory at Theni in Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 1350 crore to study the fundamental particles that form the universe.