India urges 1 percent GDP toward tech research

Indian government says it will match dollar-for-dollar if local organizations pitch in funds amounting to 1 percent of the country's GDP toward technology and science research.

As it drafts its 12th Five Year Plan for 2012 to 2017, the Indian government is urging the public and private industries to dedicate investments equal to 1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) toward science and technology research.

The government is in talks with these organizations to encourage them to be stakeholders in promoting science and technology research, and is offering to match funds amounting to 1 percent of India's GDP, said K Kasturirangan, a member of science planning commission, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Thursday.

Currently, expenditure on science and technology research and promotion in the country is at 0.9 percent of GDP, and  the 12th Plan may see the government beefing up the amount to 2 percent under certain conditions, Kasturirangan said. The government is willing to contribute 1 percent, if organizations in the private and public sectors do likewise, he explained.

Kasturirangan added that going forward, India will also have aggressive collaboration with foreign countries and agencies to expand the country's role in the area of cutting-edge of science and technology.