We Need 3 Revolutions To Become R&D Hub

New Delhi | Updated: Apr 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
India must tackle five key challenges, including brain drain and lack of institutional reforms in research laboratories, to emerge as a global research and development (R&D) hub, director general of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) R A Mashelkar has said.

I believe India will become a global R&D Hub. This can be achieved not just in terms of cost, it has to be cost-cum-competence. India is not going to remain a poor country, and the sustainability has to be the intellectual prowess, he said, on the occasion of the inauguration of an exhibition-cum-seminar Elitex 2004 with the theme Technology Vision: India In 2010.

He said India would have to desparately address five key issues of brain drain, find new innovative forms of public-private partnerships, usher institutional reforms, create alternative paths and focus on creating technologies which would make a difference to the lives of millions.

The first and the foremost issue is that of brain drain, he said adding it needed to be reversed.

Citing Nasscom estimates that 25,000 professionals had returned to India in the last three years with 90 per cent of them being software professionals, Mr Mashelkar said this trend has just begun. India has to become a land of opportunities. We cannot just be a land of ideas without being a land of opportunities, he said.

Secondly, India must vigorously pursue public-private partnerships, he said giving example of 39 government-owned software technology parks housing 3500 companies from where 80 per cent of IT exports were taking place.

Mr Mashelkar said another key challenge was that of evolving alternate paths and investing in those technologies, that touch the lives of millions of Indians.

He identified three revolutions which were critical for putting the country on the global R&D Map.

We need a second green revolution where technology will lead to higher output in agriculture. We also need connectivity revolution to bridge the digital divide and a grey (matter) revolution to change the mindset, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, IT secretary K K Jaswal said design and delivery of broadband services was an area of urgent focus to deliver education, healthcare, entertainment and disaster management services. There is an urgent need to develop user-friendly and cost-efficient tools based on Indian languages to reach the masses, he added.

Several Indian and foreign companies participated in Elitex 2004. Various products developed by organisations under DIT, like WLL antenna, digital mobile radio, computerised Braille transcription systems and broadband microwave photonic links were showcased in it.