Science and Technology Policy: Draft STIP 2020 proposes establishing STI financial authority, STI bank for enhanced funding in key areas

By: |
January 2, 2021 8:30 PM

A corpus fund will also be established for investing in various long and medium-term projects, commercial ventures, start-ups, technology diffusion and licensing to address identified priority areas in the STI ecosystem, the policy states. 

Science and Technology Policy 2020The draft STIP has been uploaded by the Department of Science and Technology on its website. The DST has also invited suggestions, inputs and comments for making changes by January 25.

The draft Science and Technology Policy 2020 proposes to establish a national STI Financing Authority and an STI Development Bank that can cater to the long term investments in select strategic areas.

According to the draft, to undertake efficient governing mechanisms for the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) funding landscape, a national STI Financing Authority will be created. The centralised authority will help strengthen financial outlay.

A corpus fund will also be established for investing in various long and medium-term projects, commercial ventures, start-ups, technology diffusion and licensing to address identified priority areas in the STI ecosystem, the policy states.

Besides, central ministries and associated departments lacking dedicated R&D units will establish concerned divisions to augment the overall R&D budget and scope of allocation.

“An STI Development Bank will be created to direct long term investments in select strategic areas,” the draft states.

It also proposes to streamline STI financial ecosystem through strengthening and providing greater autonomy to existing funding organisations with the objective of promoting sector specific research along with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research.

“Appropriate mechanisms for funding decisions based on accountable peer review and a balanced expert committee composition in terms of experience, age and gender will be strengthened,” the policy states.

The incentivisation system will be characterised by efficient governance to ensure ease in accessibility for private players, it adds.

Modification/waiver of General Financial Rules, for large scale mission mode programmes and projects of national importance will be explored and a new model for funding, implementation and monitoring of such programmes will be developed, either as an overarching mechanism or through obtaining cabinet approvals in respect of individual programmes.

In addition, certain GFRs will be required to be amended for funding of R&D projects to facilitate ease of doing research.

The policy also proposes formulation of a mechanism for timely disbursal of grants and regular networking and communication among funding agencies. The disbursal of research grants for scientific projects, fellowships to research scholars and stipends to students carrying out advanced research and higher education are crucial measures to ensure excellence in scientific research.

The DST, along with the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, started the process of formulating the STIP 2020 last year. The policy was to be out by the year-end, but has been slightly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The draft STIP has been uploaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on its website. The DST has also invited suggestions, inputs and comments for making changes by January 25.

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