Budget 2018 for Education: Economic Survey 2017-18 was tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament on Monday. The Survey had a separate chapter for Science and Technology. While talking about Transforming Science and Technology in India, the Survey stated that in order to promote innovation, the Indian youth should be taught more about the same.
“To recapture the spirit of innovation that can propel it to a global science and technology leader – from net consumer to net producer of knowledge – India should invest in educating its youth in science and mathematics, reform the way R&D is conducted, engage the private sector and the Indian diaspora, and take a more mission-driven approach in areas such as dark matter, genomics, energy storage, agriculture, and mathematics and cyber-physical systems,” said the Survey.
India has emerged as one of the world’s largest economies and now it needs to gradually move from being a net consumer of knowledge to becoming a net producer, states the Economic Survey. From the invention of the most important mathematical innovation, Zero to different contributions made by Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, CV Raman, Srinivasa Ramanujan and others, India has made historical contributions to science over the years.
While the history of Indian science and Technology was full of innovation, it now needs to redouble its efforts to improve science and R&D in the country first and foremost by doubling national expenditure on R&D with most of the increase coming from private sector and universities.
Towards this, India needs to make considerable strides in improving access to primary and secondary education to improve its learning outcome that has been weak. No country can create a vibrant superstructure of R&D with weak foundations of primary and secondary education for so many of its young, states the Economic Survey. It is because of this weakness that denies India access to the intellect and energies of millions of young people. This is also the reason by FM Arun Jaitley in the upcoming Budget 2018 might announce funds to boost science and technology education in India so that the foundations of primary and secondary education in the country is strong and so are the outcomes.