Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, investment in R&D has been consistently increasing over the years

New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said the investment in R&D in terms of Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) has been consistently increasing over the years and during the last 10 years, the GERD of India in gross terms has increased by 3 times.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, he said, the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) researchers per millions of population in India also follows an increasing trend. As per the latest R&D statistics, the number of FTE Researchers per million people has increased to 255 in 2017 from 218 in 2015 and 110 in 2000.

The Government is aware that the research intensity, in terms of Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) to GDP has been figured around 0.7% since last few years. The main reason for GERD to GDP not increasing to desired level is due to the fact that there is an inadequate private sector investment into GERD. Unlike other advanced countries where more than 70% contribution of GERD comes from the private sector, in India the private sector contribution to GERD is less than 40%. The government is making concerted efforts to increase private sector investment into GERD through various incentivization initiatives.

In reply to a similar question, the Minister said that the government has been making concerted efforts to encourage private sector to invest into R&D. The Government has allowed corporate sector to make R&D investments under the provision of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Corporates can invest in technology business incubators or contribute in research efforts carried out by institutions and national research laboratories as a part of their CSR. Several steps have been taken to incentivize the private sector’s R&D participation by improving the ease of doing business in the STI activities; introducing flexible tools for public procurement; creating avenues for collaborative STI funding through portfolio-based funding mechanisms such as Public-Private-Partnerships and other innovative hybrid funding mechanisms.