Historical Narrative of India’s STI Journey: Challenges and Opportunities

Anu Unny


Science, technology and innovation have played an instrumental role in India‟s nation-building process. The development of STI has positively influenced the quality of life of people and in fostering the economic growth of the country. The evolution of science and technology in India cannot be viewed in isolation, but only as an outcome of the larger socio-economic and political processes. The development of science and technology starting from the Nehruvian era to the present Modi era is a reflection of the larger politics played out in the country. If the state was the main driving force in the development of science and technology in the first phase of independence, with the introduction of neo-liberal reforms in the 1990s, the private sector also began to play a major role in shaping the outcomes of STI. Nevertheless, inadequate funding for research and innovation, withdrawal of public sector from investing more in STI, inaccessibility of the common man to the latest technological outcomes, absence of democratization of science and its over politicization are posing new challenges for the development of science in the contemporary era. Science is yet to liberate itself from the clutches of elitism and hegemony. If India has to address the existing inequality in STI, it is pertinent to take deliberate efforts to make science more inclusive, accessible and affordable for all in the country.


STI, India, Nehru, Manmohan Singh, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi

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