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India's new science policy to be informed by COVID-19 crisis

doi:10.1038/nindia.2020.93 Published online 2 June 2020

India's fifth national science and technology policy will draw upon lessons that the country has learnt from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Wide-ranging consultations for the new national Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020) have started at a time when India and the world are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is only the latest among the many important changes in the past decade that have necessitated formulation of a new outlook and strategy for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI)," a release from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said.

India's Principal Scientific Adviser's office and DST are jointly consulting the public and experts through a Science Policy Forum. The experience from the pandemic will help reorient the government's priorities, focus on particular sectors, the way research is done and technologies developed and deployed for larger socio-economic welfare, the release said. 

The policy will emphasise the need for self-reliance in India's science by leveraging the country's strengths in R&D, design, workforce and institutions, huge markets, demographic dividend, diversity and data, according to DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma.

To be formulated within the next six months through consultations at various levels, the policy will take into consideration evidence-informed expert recommendations, inputs from ministries, states, institutional leaders, industry bodies, global partners and inter-ministerial and inter-state dialogues.