Kakodkar seeks road map to build national capabilities

Eminent nuclear scientist Dr Anil Kakodkar said India should lay emphasis on demand-driven technology as the supply-driven programme has failed to deliver better results in terms of technological self-sufficiency to the country.

Delivering a talk on ‘Advances in Science and Technology and Its Implications on India’s National Security’, Kakodkar, also former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India, sought a national strategy for deciding priorities in terms of technological development.
“We must have a road map to build national capabilities that serves the national objectives,” he said.

He said, “Supply-driven development is very important. But we have to be conscious over the fact that if we need to develop national capabilities, we need to give special impetus to the technology the country needs. The distinction between supply-driven R&D and demand-driven R&D should be recognised.”

Kakodkar said Technology Information and Forecasting Assessment Council came out with a report ‘Tech Vision-2035’ in January 2016. The report focused on forecasting and scenario building exercise, which helped the outcome of technical document. The document consisted of technologies in the civilian domain and excluded the technologies that are necessary in military domain.

The whole range of technologies required to meet the country’s needs in 2035 have been focused and the list includes the inputs from the various secrets keeping in mind whether the technology in horizon and perspectives in the sectors of education, transport and agriculture. Five of these documents are already in public domain and the remaining seven will be made available shortly. The cultural attributes and technological capabilities both are at the base, he added.

Asserting that technology is not static, he said there are several dimensions to the national security as the connotation of national security goes far behind.The economic and industrial strength and establishment are also part of the country’s security. India’s diaspora is an essential means of expressing the nation’s soft power. In modern times, technology has become very important, he observed.

He said being Indian is crucial to the growth of the country. When compared to 40 years ago, the country is becoming more and more foreign goods-oriented. Indians have produced maximum billion dollar ventures in US, he noted. 

He said innovation echo system is the need of the hour. Distance between the industries and the academicians should be bridged. Unless the technology is updated, the information becomes obsolete. Besides researching on technology, it is essential to keep that technology at the state of art. Technology plays an important role in national security. Many countries which are technologically-advanced have achieved the milestones through military efforts.

Kakodkar said 40 years ago, R&D developed technology for military purposes and it was later translated to civilian needs. But today, the situation is different.  Many great many strides are taking place in civilian domain and are finding applications in military domain. The science and technology have contributed a lot for the development of the society. The knowledge activity connected with the R&D will find its application both in military as well as civilian domain, he said.
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