Cabinet approves creation of 12-member ‘Tech Group’ on policy advice, R&D

New Delhi: The Central Government has announced that the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the constitution of an empowered 12-member Technology Group with the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India as its Chair. This Group is mandated to render timely policy advice on latest technologies; mapping of technology and technology products; commercialisation of dual use technologies developed in national laboratories and government R&D organisations; developing an indigenisation road map for selected key technologies; and selection of appropriate R&D programs leading to technology development.

The Technology Group is expected to render the best possible advice on technology to be developed for a technology supplier and the technology procurement strategy, develop in-house expertise in aspects of policy and use of emerging technologies, and ensure sustainability of public sector technology developed/being developed at PSUs, national labs and research organisations.

The three pillars of the work of the Technology Group include policy support, procurement support, and support on research and development proposals.

The Technology Group intends to ensure that India has appropriate policies and strategies for effective, secure, and context-sensitive exploitation of the latest technologies for economic growth and sustainable development of Indian Industry, in all sectors, and also to advise the Government on priorities and strategies for research on emerging technologies across sectors.

The Group also aims to maintain an updated map of technology and technology products available and being developed across India, to develop an indigenization roadmap for selected key technologies, and to advise the Government on its technology supplier and procurement strategy.

The Group intends to encourage all Ministries and Departments as well as State Governments to develop in-house expertise in policy and use aspects of emerging technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence, and to this end develop an approach to training and capacity building.

Another aim of the group is to formulate policies for sustainability of public sector technology at PSUs/Labs while encouraging cross-sector collaborations and research alliances with Universities and Private Companies, and to formulate standards and common vocabulary to apply in vetting of proposals for R&D.

The Govt stated that 5 important issues in the technology sector were:

1. Silo-centric approaches to development of technology;

2. Technology standards either not developed or applied, leading to sub-optimal industrial development;

3. Dual use technologies not being optimally commercialised;

4. R&D programs not aligned to efforts at technology development

5. Need for mapping of technologies important for applications in society and industry.

The constitution of the Technology Group is an effort at addressing these problems.

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The ID Staff

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