States to have scientific innovation councils: Sibal

May 13th, 2008 - 12:26 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal Monday asked state governments to set up scientific innovation councils within a month and promised to set up seven top-class research institutes in states that did not have them. “The states should take the initiative in promoting science, and we appeal to all states to set up scientific innovation councils modelled after the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),” Sibal said after a science minister’s conference here.

“We know some of the states do not have top-class research institutes and we are going to fill in those gaps. States like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab will get top class research institutes soon.

“Besides, CSIR institutes will be set up in states like Rajasthan, Bihar and Chhattisgarh,” Sibal assured the gathering.

The science and technology ministry invited state ministers, scientists and other top officials for a daylong brainstorming session on improving the state of science, research and development and science education. The conference was attended by science ministers of 14 states and top officials from other states.

Sibal said the number of people involved in research and development in India is miniscule in comparison to European countries.

“In Europe, 7,000 people out of every one million are involved in research and development. But in India the figure is 156 people per million,” he said underlining the plight of science education in the country.

He asked state governments to join hands with private parties to take science to the next level.

“State governments have neither resources nor capabilities to do everything single- handedly. Hence, I call upon all states to go for public-private-partnership,” he added.

The minister also assured that funds would not be a hindrance.

“We have promised a grant of Rs.1 billion to the Kerala-based Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. We have already released Rs.250 million for its growth and research,” Sibal told reporters.

Finally, he asked state governments to form vision groups to achieve better scientific innovations and strengthen human resources.

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