Prelims cum Mains Science & Tech

Govt. scraps scientific panels, forms council

 

The News

  • PMO has approved the constitution of Prime Minister’s Science, Technology & Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STlAC) to advise the PM on all matters related to Science, Technology and Innovation in the country.

 

Key Highlights

  • PM-STIAC will replace the existing scientific advisory panels namely Scientific Advisory Council to PM (SAC-PM) and Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet (SAC-C).
  • As in the earlier panels, PM-STIAC will be headed by Principal Scientific Adviser.
  • PM-STIAC will comprise of 9 members including the Chairperson in addition to 12 ‘special invitees’ from various ministries.
  • The council will mainly facilitate the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at leveraging S & T to solve the socio economic problems in the country.
  • Besides the council will specially focus on driving innovation in education, research, industry etc.

 

Background

  • The SAC-C and SAC-PM were set up by the government in 1999 to advise the government on all matters of science and help create an ecosystem of scientific innovation and development in the country.
  • Further from 2014, the SAC-PM was defunct, while SAC-C continued to function in an advisory role to the PSA

 

Significance of PM-STIAC

  • Permanence
    • While SAC-PM was defunct from 2014, the new council will remain in office despite a change in government.
    • Thus all government decisions will be based on their advice.
  • Administrative role to bureaucrats
    • The primary composition of the council will involve more practising scientists.
    • Secretaries of all science & technology related ministries like atomic energy, space, biotechnology, new & renewable energy, environment & forests, agriculture, health & higher education will constitute 12 special invitees
    • The special invitees who are bureaucrats will mainly don administrative roles.
  • Presence of industry member
    • Of the 9-members, one member will be industry representative to focus on innovation, jobs and entrepreneurship.

 

Terms of Reference

  • To aid in formulation and implementation of STI policies and decisions.
  • Monitor the implementation of Prime Minister’s STI vision.
  • Enabling ‘policy environment for commercial exploitation of indigenously developed technologies and innovations in the country.
  • To coordinate S & T application between the Department/ Ministries and various Institutions of the Government of India and the State Governments.
  • Formulation and timely implementation of major science and technology missions.
  • Advice on developing Clusters of Excellence in Science including City based R&D Clusters.
  • Help in increasing science awareness, building scientific temperament and communicating Government’s views on science to citizens.

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