India has made giant leaps in science, tech & space research, says minister

In an address, the minister of state for science and technology stated the major leaps the country had taken in science, technology, space and pharmaceutical research over the last nine years

Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science and Technology

Photo: PIB

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh addressed the 46th Induction Programme for new recruits at the ministry by sharing the significant scientific progress made by the country in the past nine years during Prime Minister Narendra Modi tenure. Here are some of the biggest accomplishments over the last decade.

Vaccine development during Covid-19

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian pharmaceutical companies developed vaccines in a short time, effectively combating the spread of the virus. These vaccines were not only used domestically but also exported to the developed world and fulfilled World Health Organisation (WHO) commitments.

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The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) played a key role in the 'Mission Covid-19 Suraksha' initiative, which resulted in the development of four vaccines: ZyCoV-D (DNA vaccine), CORBEVAXTM (protein subunit vaccine), GEMCOVAC-19 (mRNA vaccine), and iNCOVACC (intranasal Covid-19 vaccine). This was an estimated Rs 900 crore initiative, part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package.

Improvement in global rankings

India's Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking significantly improved, moving from 81st in 2015 to 40th in 2022 among 130 economies worldwide.

India ranks ninth globally in terms of resident patent filings, and the participation of women in extramural research and development has doubled in the past nine years.

The country has made significant advancements in renewable energy, ranking fourth globally in renewable energy installed capacity, wind power capacity, and solar power capacity.

India also holds the third position globally in terms of the number of startups at 77,000 and unicorns at 107.

Increase in research

The Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) in India has tripled over the past decade.

India's defence exports grew by 334 per cent in the last five years, reaching a record of Rs 13,000 crore in the financial year 2021-22. India is now exporting defence equipment to more than 75 countries.

New developments in sector

The space sector reforms have led to the emergence of 102 startups engaged in cutting-edge areas such as space debris management, nano-satellites, launch vehicles, and ground systems.

India has also become a major contributor to global food production, particularly in food grain, horticulture, and livestock-poultry sectors thanks to the innovation done in these fields. Last year the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) reportedly produced more than 339,000 qt. of seeds and 147.56 million saplings, seedlings, and livestock strains, made available for farmers.

The National Quantum Mission (NQM) was also recently approved by the union cabinet. This will aim to establish a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in quantum technology (QT). The mission includes the development of intermediate-scale quantum computers, secure quantum communications, and a multi-node Quantum network with quantum memories.

First Published: May 31 2023 | 6:30 PM IST

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