India seeks more private funds in scientific research

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) India wants private sector to play an active role and invest more in scientific research and development, Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan said Thursday.

‘We spend about one percent of our GDP on scientific research and development (R&D). Of this, three-fourth comes from the public sector. We want private sector’s active participation in this,’ Chavan told reporters here on the sidelines of an event organised by US aerospace major Lockheed Martin and industry association FICCI.

‘We are running many programmes under the public-private-participation (PPP) mode holding hands of private sector, but we want them to invest aggressively,’ he said.

Chavan said it would be difficult for the government to double the spending on the R&D to two percent of the GDP by next year.

In the budget, India has extended higher tax incentives to corporate houses that spend on in-house R&D and also to private scientists, he said.

‘We hope this will help. The government is doing all to nurture innovation. We need technology innovators and for this, we need to focus on R&D,’ he said.

Indo-US Science and Technology Forum executive director Arabinda Mitra also said India needs technology innovators. ‘Technology innovators can create silicon Valley in this Indus Valley (civilization).’

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