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India's spend on R&D low, ecosystem changing now: Niti chief

India's spend on R&D low, ecosystem changing now: Niti chief

New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar Thursday said the country's expenditure on research and development (R&D) remains low and, however, the current government is changing the ecosystem. "We are still a sub-1 per cent research and development (R&D) community. That's the expenditure that we have of the GDP in our R&D. We need to do more towards that," Kumar said at the concluding session of Annual India Symposium on Science & Society organised by the Niti Aayog and Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute (LMSAI) at Harvard University here. Kumar also said there is no joint collaboration between CSIR labs and private labs in India which needs to be looked at. Another question that needs to be asked is why our industries invest low on R&D, he added. "But from this government side, I am happy to share that the ecosystem is changing. There is a positive change led by the government. There is a new focus and emphasis towards science and technology. "And I think, I now know there is a new focus on biotechnology for river cleaning. There is a new initiative that is coming up with some malaria vaccine....New buzz in developing in science and technology in this country," he said. Initiatives such as Atal Tinkering Labs at the school levels are among the steps to foster innovation and inculcate the skills of students, he said. Kumar said the gap between various stakeholders in the science and technology space needs to be bridged and interaction between the scientific community in India needs to be deepened with that globally. PTI KPM HRS