Government should allocate more funds to promote research: Kalam

New Delhi: Eminent scientist and former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam today said the government should allocate more funds for promoting research and development (R&D) activities in the country. “More thrust has to be given for government funding for R&D even to private companies to strengthen the indigenous R&D capability,” he said.

Besides, Dr Kalam said India can become an economically developed nation by 2020 if its GDP grows at 9 per cent for five years until 2020. “The economic growth should go to minimum 9 per cent of GDP. If we keep up 9 per cent GDP for next 5 years up to 2020, and with our 600 million youth population, who have the power of an ignited mind,”

“Our small scale industries, farmers and IT doing very well, with this background there is a possibility India will be economically developed by 2020,” he said at an Assocham event here.

He said manufacturing has to be empowered to achieve 25 per cent GDP contribution by 2020 from 16 per cent as on 2015 by increasing the depth in manufacturing focusing on the level of domestic value addition, enhanced global competitiveness through appropriate policy support and sustainability of growth particularly with regard to the environment.

Dr Kalam emphasised upon the need to have a long-term defence strategy and vision for defence industry growth, involving large private industries as production partners. “The need of the hour is to establish a Military Industry Complex (MIC) at the national level enlisting large and medium industries to be partners along with defence PSUs as its members,” said Dr Kalam.

“Establishment of MIC envisages not only the industrial development but also creates a number of job opportunities. This will pave way for knowledge workers to participate and contribute in production of high-quality systems. This will change world’s perception towards India from an importer country to an exporting giant,” he added.

Dr Kalam further said that regulations and control procedures are to be implemented in managing private industries for manufacturing of defence systems. “Encouraging high technology tie-ups and joint ventures between Indian and other global defence industries will achieve not only competitiveness but also envisage the product for export. India cannot afford to lose anymore time in pondering the issue,” said the former President of India.

Talking about his experience of promoting technological innovations, Dr Kalam said, “Our policy ecosystems do not keep in pace with possibilities and potentials presented by technologies and engineering. Also, bigger Indian businesses do not generally look for many such new opportunities”.

Pointing out that growth with innovation is imperative to an economically developed India 2020, Dr Kalam also rued at India’s 64th rank in the Global Innovation Index. “We should at least aim for coming the first 10,” he said.

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