There is no shortage of scientists and technologists in the country. According to the latest available official statistics, Full Time Equivalent (FTE) scientists and technologists in R&D in the country has increased to 1,92,819 in 2009 from 1,54,827 in 2005. The 12th Five Year Plan proposes to increase full time scientists and technologists to 2.5 lakh from the current level to achieve higher global positioning in science and technology. No shortage of scientists is expected during the next ten years.
The Government has taken number of steps to create more institutions and strengthen facilities for higher education and research in the country. These include recent setting up of S&T institutions such as new IITs, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), Universities, research institutes and national labs, creating centres of excellence/incubation centres, establishment of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) to enable quick decision making for supporting basic research in emerging S&T areas, induction and implementation of new Programme called INSPIRE for attracting youth to study science and choose research as career, mounting of mission programmes in areas of Nano Science and Technology, Solar & Water Technology etc. The S&T infrastructure of the science departments of Universities, Colleges and other academic Institutions in the country have been substantially improved through a major initiative titled “Fund for Improvement of S&T infrastructure in universities and higher educational institutions (FIST)”. Further, the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) has been established as an Institution of National Importance by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research with focus on very high quality manpower generation in inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary areas. Special thrust has been given for supporting Post Graduate Programmes (M.Sc./M.Tech.) in several institutions/universities across the country for enlarging the scientific manpower base. These have been accompanied by successive increase in plan allocations for scientific departments and encouraging international R&D collaborations in various S&T areas.
Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri S.Jaipal Reddy gave this information in reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha today.