Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), interacted with STIP 2020 Secretariat comprising policy fellows, DST officials, and PSA officials, involved in the STIP 2020 formulation process highlighting the importance of tapping into think tanks for their recommendations, reflection of interconnectedness between knowledge generation and knowledge consumption systems and linkages between different sectors and emerging areas like AI, in the policy formation process.
“Several existing knowledge pools like TIFAC, policy research centres, industry bodies like CII, FICCI have already studied and thought about many of the issues related to science policy, and we can invite well-considered recommendations from them. Besides, much as science covers several sectors which have been covered in the 21 thematic groups, there are linkages between the different sectors, the new and emerging areas of science like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing, and the traditional sectors. Also, there is a lot of interconnectedness between knowledge generation and knowledge consumption systems in the policy. These should be integrated in the policy,” Professor Sharma said during the interactive sessions.
He encouraged the young policy fellows who would play a crucial part in the policy formation process and added that their energy and enthusiasm combined with the wisdom of the seniors would make the process a successful decentralized and inclusive one.
The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (Office of PSA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have started a decentralized, bottom-up, and inclusive process for the formulation of a new national Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020).
The STIP 2020 formulation process is organised into 4 highly interlinked tracks: Track I involves an extensive public and expert consultation process through Science Policy Forum - a dedicated platform for soliciting inputs from larger public and expert pool during and after the policy drafting process. Track II comprises experts-driven thematic consultations to feed evidence-informed recommendations into the policy drafting process. Twenty-one (21) focused thematic groups have been constituted for this purpose. Track III involves consultations with Ministries and States, while Track IV constitutes apex level multi-stakeholder consultation.
The consultation processes on different tracks have already started and are running in parallel. The Track-II thematic group (TG) consultation started with a series of information sessions, and the Track-I is being launched shortly to collect consultation from experts as well as from the public.
A Secretariat with in-house policy knowledge and data support unit, built with a cadre of DST-STI Policy fellows, has been set up at DST (Technology Bhavan) to coordinate the complete process and interplays between the four tracks.
During the interaction session, attended by DST-STI Policy fellows, DST Officials and Officials from the Office of PSA Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Head of Policy Coordination and Programme Monitoring Division of DST, presented the process of the policy formation which reaches out to scientific departments, ministries, agencies, socio-economic ministries, departments & states & UTs. The interaction will help prepare a plan of action for the launch of the different tracks of the STIP 2020 formulation process.