UPSC PRELIMS 2019: India’s R&D Ecosystem

India’s R&D Ecosystem

Topic : India’s R&D Ecosystem

Topic in Syllabus: Science & Technology


Context :

India’s R&D Ecosystem

A special session was held to discuss India’s Research and Development (R&D) expenditure eco-systemduring the Global launch of Global Innovation Index (GII) – 2019


Details of the Report

  • Investments in R&D are key inputs in economic growth. The impact of this is proven on productivity, exports, employment and capital formation.
  • India’s investment in R&D has shown a consistent increasing trend over the years. However, it is a fraction of India’s GDP, it has remained constant at around 0.6% to 0.7% of India’s GDP. This is below the expenditure of countries like the US (2.8), China (2.1), Israel (4.3) and Korea (4.2).
  • Government expenditure, almost entirely the Central Government, is the driving force of R&D in India which is in contrast to the advanced countries where private sector is the dominant and driving force of R&D spend.
  • The report has been compiled by PMEAC and inputs for the report have been taken from various stakeholders including industry, academia and government.



  • There is a need for greater participation of State Governments and private sector in overall R&D spending in India especially in application oriented research and technology development.


The objectives of the report are:

  • To address the data gaps in compiling R&D data so that up to date data on R&D is available in order to reflect India’s true rank globally.
  • The second objective is to examine expenditure trends in various sectors and their shortcomings.
  • The final objective is to lay down the road map for achieving the desired target of R&D spend by the year 2022, i.e 2% of the GDP.


Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) is a non-constitutional, non-statutory, independent body constituted to give advice on economic and related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the Prime Minister.

The terms of reference of EAC-PM are:

  • Analyzing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon,
  • Addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister.
  • These could be either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else.
  • It also includes attending to any other task as may be desired by the Prime Minister from time to time.


  • The growth in research and development (R&D) expenditure should be commensurate with the economy’s growth and should be targeted to reach at least 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2022.
  • The line ministries at the Centre could be mandated toallocate a certain percentage of their budget for research and innovation for developing and deploying technologies as per the priorities of the respective ministries.
  • To stimulate private sector’s investment in R&D from current 0.35% of GDP,it is suggested that a minimum percentage of turn-over of the company may be invested in R&D by medium and large enterprises registered in India.
  • To help and keep the industry enthused to invest in R&D, the weighted deduction provisions on R&D investment should continue.
  • The states can partner Centreto jointly fund research and innovation programmes through socially designed Central Sponsored Schemes (CSS).
  • The report also pitched for creating 30 dedicated R&D Exports Huband a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore for funding mega projects with cross cutting themes which are of national interest.


Sample Question:

Functions of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister are

a. Suo moto addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister.

b. Addressing issues of macroeconomic importance refered by the Prime Minister.

c. Both a and b

d. none


Answer: a