No meetings held for more than a decade

National Commission for Science and Technology

Engineering Post Report

National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) despite being the apex body for  deliberating policies  of important Science ,Technology and Innovation Sector has not held its meetings  for more than a decade.

According to the information available from official sources,  it has now been stressed at the appropriate level that the Ministry of Science and Technology will preferably arrange two but at least one meeting of NCST  to advance a consequential  national agenda and performance reporting  for Science, Technology and Innovation at the very highest level of the federal government.

It has been duly acknowledged at the official level  that there is dire need for reviving Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sector  for ensuring it plays its due  role for economic development of the country. As such, there is also need to focus  on linkage  among industry,Research and Development organizations, academia and the government. Share of the private sector  in overall Research and Development expenditure has also to be improved accordingly appropriately.

Furthermore, there is also disconnect among the defence and civilian Research and Development organizations as well as the private sector.

Keeping  in view these problems, following approach will be adopted  for uplifting  STI  sector in the country on priority basis preferably during ongoing  and next financial years.

Some highlights of the approach besides activating the National Commission for Science and Technology are being given below briefly for information of all concerned.

Ministry of Science  and Technology will refdorm and re-organize its Research and Development (R & D)  organizations with new and focused mandates/mission and well-defined  measures for ensuring  maximization of their output.

R & D organizations with their new mandate will be  expected to have a close liaison with industry, academia and private sector  for focused research that can be translated into products and processes  for demonstration at pilot level and subsequent commercialization.

R&D organizations within and outside Ministry of Science and Technology  will be encouraged  to create collaborations with industry/ private sector  and also generate own resources to meet part of recurring expenditure.

A national framework for civilian spillover of defence technologies will be framed  and finalized after due consultation with all stakeholders. This framework  will,hopefully, provide  opportunity  for close collaboration of  civilian and  defence R & D  organizations as well as  private sector  to develop selected  few technologies  in the beginning and further expansion in longer run.

The youth of the nation is only inspired  if they find  indigenous  capacity development  and products commercialization  in the country. The 12th Five Year Plan stresses  to Fund  at least 5 Mega Initiatives  to address both  national needs as well  as future  aspirations in  science  and technology and innovation. One such initiative  at least  need to be started during next year for assessing its impact and expand the experience in future.

The priority areas for next year will, accordingly, be  Human Resource Development (HRD), Popularization and Promotion of Science , Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)  Facilitation, Water  Resources, Oceanography,  Herbal Medicines,  Quality Assurance and Standards, Halal  Accreditation, Gems & Precious Stones,  Medical Devices and Health, Water Conservation, Renewable  Energy, Electronics and Automation.