Nearly 0.7 pc of GDP spent on R&D, strengthening of S&T infra from 2014-15 to 2018-19: Govt
New Delhi, Aug 10 (PTI) Nearly 0.7 per cent of the GDP was spent every year on research and development, including strengthening of science and technology infrastructure, during 2014-15 to 2018-19, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
In a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said the Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) has been consistently following an increasing trend and during the last 10 years, the GERD of India in gross terms has increased by three times.
However, the investments by the private sector to R&D have been inadequate. Unlike other advanced countries where more than 70 per cent contribution of GERD comes from the private sector, in India the private sector contribution to GERD is less than 40 per cent, he said.
"As per the latest available R&D statistics, nearly 0.7 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) is spent every year on R&D, including strengthening Science and Technology infrastructure during 2014-15 to 2018-19," Singh said. He said from 2014-15, Rs 87,473.44 crore was spent on the R&D expenditure, followed by Rs 95,452.44 crore in 2015-16, Rs 1,03,099.26 crore in 2016-17, Rs 1,13,825.03 crore by 2017-18. In 2018-19, the estimated expenditure was Rs 1,23,847.71 crore, he said.
The government has been making concerted efforts to encourage the private sector to invest into R&D. It has allowed the corporate sector to make R&D investments under the provision of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the minister said.
Corporates can invest in technology business incubators or contribute to research efforts carried out by institutions and national research laboratories as a part of their CSR, he added. "Several steps have been taken to incentivise 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," Singh said.