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A VISION FOR AN INDIAN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT STRATEGY VISTAS – BHARAT

The world is speeding towards a high-tech future, mastering new “disruptive” technologies such as artificial intelligence and 3D printing techniques to re-shore manufacturing, and exploit their tremendous economic potential for national benefit.

 If India does not implement pro-technology policies, its citizens will be left out of the revolutionary developments transforming the 21st century.

Already, a deceleration of growth in countries that have neglected innovation, research and development – and a simultaneous uptick in the fortunes of countries riding on the back of their investments in the same – are  apparent.  It is clear that the first rung of the technological ladder is now being pulled higher and higher and soon will be out of our reach unless we make a tremendous effort to catch up.

VISTAS-BHARAT is an initiative of the High-Tech Defence Innovation Forum, launched at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis (IDSA) in July 2011 (Report of 1st meeting). The Forum provides a platform for the exchange of expert views on building a high-tech economy in India, prompted by concerns over national and economic security due to India’s high dependence on imports in every high-tech sector, be it defence equipment, electronics, telecommunications, railways, or aviation.  Members include serving and retired members of the Armed Forces, Civil Services, Research Community and Academia.

VISTAS-BHARAT aims to:

  1.  Take the debate beyond the conference room to a wider audience – on how to create a high-tech, competitive economy and innovative eco-system that can address current problems and take India into the future.
  2. Provide daily updates on science, technology, industrial, educational, R & D and related news and developments.
  3. Provide a Discussion Forum for the exchange of expert opinion on the entire spectrum of innovation related activities.
  4. Provide ideas and guidance to policy makers so we too can ultimately generate disruptive technologies.

Some areas:

*A sound manufacturing sector, both high and low-tech

**Developing dual use technologies – civil military integration

***Restructuring of the higher education sector

Restructuring of the nation’s R & D infrastructure

Greater public private partnership

India First in procurement decisions

Launching offsets in sectors responsible for high imports, including

service sector

Any other

* Manufacturing generates the highest multipliers in an economy and world trade in manufactures is still more than 5 times trade in services (Prof. William Bonvillian, Director MIT’s Washington office). The world over, countries are aggressively promoting national high-tech manufacturing capabilities. All these countries experience rising living standards, rising employment, and improved welfare levels.

** Every advanced country has built a dual-use economy on the basis of civil military integration (CMI) so that the civilian and defence sectors can benefit from spin-on and spin-off technologies. The bulk of R & D is being performed in the civilian economy in advanced countries, “spin on” is as important as “spin off”.  Supply chains of complex high-tech defence equipment reach across both sectors of the economy and in fact the globe.  Finally, CMI provides economies of scale as the domestic market expands.

*** The high-tech foundation has to be supported by a high quality, broad-based reformed educational sector; the present system caters to only 0.3% of India’s population, and does not adequately advance critical thinking skills.  India scores amongst the lowest countries in PISA scores and no University is ranked among the top 200. No Indian think tank is amongst the top 100 global think tanks which all indicates the dismal quality of India’s educational and research infrastructure. This would help address the issue of competitiveness and the current account deficit.

Sectors

  • Education
  • R & D
  • Green technologies & The Environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • Electronics
  • Agriculture
  • Defence equipment
  • Railways
  • Aviation
  • Enlightenment
  • International best practices and lessons from more effective models.

Please join our page and Forum and bring an era of high-tech growth to India and Bharat.

Email: vistasbharat@gmail.com

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