Union Minister Harsh Vardhan holds policy consultation with scientific diaspora

Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday held policy consultations with Indian scientific diaspora in a virtual meeting and invited them to play active role in formulation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), 2020.

“It is important to build policy level mechanisms that enable creation of suitable opportunities for attracting best talents back home. The upcoming policy aims to address both the first and second generation diaspora by facilitating institutional mechanisms for engagement with Indian ecosystem,” he said.

The Minister underlined that the VAIBHAV Summit and the recently-launched dedicated, one-stop platform for S&T diaspora engagement “PRABHASS” (Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark) are some proactive steps of the government towards this engagement.

Noting that the landmark policy initiative has been started as India and the world reorient in the present context of the Covid-19 crisis, he emphasised: “The consultation aims at generating and streamlining key ideas in the making of STIP 2020 and involving the Indian diaspora as one of major stakeholders in the policy formulation process.”

Harsh Vardhan encouraged the Indian scientific diaspora to share their suggestions on the policy, adding that these suggestions would be collated and considered to be included in the draft STIP.

He stressed that India aims to connect the diaspora back to Indian scientific and economic ecosystem to accelerate the growth in STIP. “Reinforcing their engagement will enable India to leverage its S&T expertise across the globe for robust growth in all areas of science, technology and innovation,” he said.

Outlining the new policy under formulation, Harsh Vardhan said: “The core vision of STIP 2020 is the decentralisation of policy designing by making it a bottom-up and inclusive process. It aims to realign priorities, sectoral focus and methods of research and technology development with the goals of larger socio-economic progress.”

“The proposed STIP is expected to leverage the astounding progress that the STI system has witnessed in recent years and build a long term pathway which must be able to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of millions of young Indian scientists and students. This can be done only when we make policy formulation totally inclusive and participatory.”

The consultation meeting was attended by Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Professor K. Vijay Raghavan; Secretary, Science & Technology, Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Healthcare-Biotech Consultant, Vijay Chauthaiwale; Additional Secretary, External Affairs Renu Pall, and several dignitaries among the Indian scientific diaspora from across the globe.

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