Plan are afoot for the union government and the state governments to work to promote private sector participation in the state research and development programmes by putting in place a long term centre-state coordination and monitoring mechanism in science and technology innovations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the two-day science conclave of Science and Technology Ministers from all states and union territories at Ahmedabad’s Science City on 10 September.
This was announced by Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for science and technology on Wednesday. The minister said that this year’s conference is being given a different format with focus on new technologies relevant to each of the different states and union territories and their optimum application for “ease of living”.
The minister said that the meet will also help break silos between the union government and the states, while strengthening science technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem through greater synergy across the country.
Science and Technology ministers of all 28 states, the administrators of eight union territories and key officials from states, including chief secretaries, principal secretaries in-charge of science and technology in the states and CEOs of over 100 start ups and industries are expected to take part in the two-day science conclave.
Dwelling on the broad agenda of the conclave, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it will aim at fostering proactive engagements between the union government and the state government in the area of science and technology. It will also work to creating a mechanism to facilitate the flow of STI information and data between the centre and the state governments and foster the capacity building of scientists, technologists and professionals from states in key technology areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh opined that only a few state and union territory governments are working proactively and therefore the need was felt to enhance STI engagements with states beyond the level of the S&T council. He informed that the DST made an attempt to develop a ‘system framework’ for mapping the STI ecosystem of the States.
The minister spoke of plans for the union government and the state governments to work to promote private sector participation in the state research and development programmes by putting in place a long term centre-state coordination and monitoring mechanism in STI at the highest level.
The minister informed that the two-day science and technology conclave will have a new dimension as several action-oriented decisions will be taken and all states and union territories will be asked to have individual STI policy on the lines of National STI policy. The minister said, in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, the union government will assist states in formulating their state STI policies. He said, the union government will also work jointly with states to address their specific STI needs, challenges and gap areas and evolve solutions.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that there is a need for states to be proactive in aligning their policies towards the larger goal of strengthening centre-state coordination and collaboration mechanism to strengthen STI ecosystem in the states by promoting R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship. He said, states must be able to explore solutions to their local problems through S&T interventions and promised all help by the centre in exploring such solutions by connecting them to knowledge institutions and experts.
The minister pointed out that some of the states and union territories have weak science and technology base and institutional strength and therefore they must connect their institutions with central government research and development and academic institutions.