A New Frontier
The tradition of science and technology (S&T) in India is over 5,000 years old. A renaissance was witnessed in the first half of the 20th century. The S&T infrastructure has grown up from about Rs. 10 million at the time of independence in 1947 to Rs. 30 billion. Significant achievements have been made in the areas of nuclear and space science, electronics and defence. The government is committed to making S&T an integral part of the socio-economic development of the country. | |
India has the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world; 162 universities award 4,000 doctorates and 35,000 postgraduate degrees and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research runs 40 research laboratories that have made some significant achievements. In the field of Missile Launch Technology, India is among the top five nations of the world.
Science and technology, however, is used as an effective instrument for growth and change. It is being brought into the mainstream of economic planning in the sectors of agriculture, industry and services. The country's resources are used to derive the maximum output for the benefit of society and improvement in the quality of life. About 85 per cent of the funds for S&T come directly or indirectly from the Government. The S&T infrastructure in the country accounts for more than one per cent of the GNP. S&T in India is entering a new frontier.
The prime objective of India's nuclear energy programme is the development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes such as power generation, applications in agriculture, medicine, industry, research and other areas.
India is today recognized as one of the most advanced countries in nuclear technology including production of source materials. The country is self-reliant and has mastered the expertise covering the complete nuclear cycle from exploration and mining to power generation and waste management. Accelerators and research and power reactors are now designed and built indigenously. The sophisticated variable energy cyclotron at Kolkata and a medium-energy heavy ion accelerator 'pelletron' set up recently at Mumbai are national research facilities in the frontier areas of science.
As part of its programme of peaceful uses of atomic energy, India has also embarked on a programme of nuclear power generation. Currently eight nuclear stations are producing eight billion kilowatt of electricity. Four more nuclear power stations are planned. The new nuclear reactors are designed in India. The peaceful nuclear programme also includes producing radioisotopes for use in agriculture, medicine, industry and research. | |
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), under the Department of Space (DOS), is responsible for research, development and operationalisation of space systems in the areas of satellite communications, remote sensing for resource survey, environmental monitoring, meteorological services, etc. DOS is also the nodal agency for the Physical Research Laboratory, which conducts research in the areas of space science, and the National Remote Sensing Agency, which deploys modern remote-sensing techniques for natural resource surveys and provides operational services to user agencies. India is the only Third World Country to develop its own remote-sensing satellite.
India joined a select group of six nations on October 15, 1994, when the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully accomplished its mission of placing the 800 Kg remote sensing satellite, IRS-P2, in the intended orbit. Earlier in May, the fourth developmental flight of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) achieved its mission by placing the 113 Kg SROSS-C2 scientific satellite in a near-earth orbit. India is well on its way to developing a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) capable of putting 2000 Kg satellites into...