President calls for increasing expenditure on research

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) India spends only 0.9 percent of its GDP on research and development, which is much below China, Britain and Israel, and needs to step up expenditure on this front, President Pranab Mukherjee said Saturday.

Speaking on National Technology Day, Mukherjee said: “India’s innovation bottom line is not very encouraging as the number of patent applications filed annually in leading countries like US and China is roughly 12 times more than that of India.”

“India spends only 0.9 percent of GDP on research and development, which is much below that of China, UK and Israel. We should step up our expenditure on research to pursue innovation in a big way,” he said.

Appealing to the private sector to increase expenditure on research, Mukherjee said: “The private sector, which contributes one-fourth of our country’s expenditure on research and development, should also increase their share of spending to levels prevalent in countries such as Japan, US and South Korea.”

He said the future prosperity of India in the new knowledge economy will increasingly depend on its ability to generate new ideas, processes and solutions.

“The process of innovation shall convert knowledge into social good and economic wealth. In a globally competitive world, India has to unleash its innovation potential to increase capacity, productivity, efficiency and inclusive growth,” he said.

“The capacity of innovation of India and its people has to become a part and parcel of India’s growth and development process. And for it to happen, the spirit of innovation has to permeate all sectors of the economy from universities, businesses and government, to people at all levels.”

Mukherjee said India’s needs and requirements are different from the other nations and to conceive a sustainable growth strategy, it must focus on inclusive innovation.

“Our priorities for innovation should be conditioned by our socio-economic realities. The Indian innovation strategy, therefore, has to be different. It should focus on generating ideas that promote inclusive growth and benefit people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid,” he added.

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