Thursday, April 9, 2009

Science & Technology

Science and technology has been in the forefront of transforming the Indian economic structure helping India evolve as a globally competitive economic powerhouse. With the available scientific manpower--which is third largest in the world-- the Indian science and technology has been growing well above world average.

While the Indian output of science, as measured by the quality and quantity of Science Citation Index (SCI) papers, has been growing at a CAGR of 8 per cent in the past three years, the world average was only 4 per cent. Also, the number of technical workforce is also increasing at a rapid clip and is set to cross the 2 million mark, with the march from one million to two million happening in just about three years.

A number of world-class institutions have instrumental in this: 162 universities award 4,000 doctorates and 35,000 postgraduate degrees and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research runs 40 research laboratories that have made some significant achievements.

Space Technology

India is one of the few countries with expertise to conceptualise, design and manufacture satellites and the capability to launch them into space. In fact, it has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world. Also, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the world's third non-US supplier of 1-metre imageries and holds nearly 25 per cent of the US$ 120-million global free-play imageries market.

The year 2007 saw several major accomplishments being made in the Indian space programme: successful orbiting and recovery of a space capsule (which is a prelude to the development of space recovery capsule), launch of Cartosat-2 (a remote sensing satellite with a resolution capacity below 1 metre) and successfully testing indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage among others.

India has also lined up some interesting projects for the future: a lunar mission, a project for manned space outing around 2015, development of space recovery capsule (which would lay the foundation for future returning missions) and establishing indigenous regional GPS by 2012 among others.

Renewable Energy

India has been tapping energy from renewable sources to meet its growing energy demands. This also helps in diversifying its sources of energy. Some notable achievements in this field are:

* India has the largest number of biomass gasifier systems in the world.
* India is the third largest producer of solar photovoltaic cells in the world
* India is the world's fourth largest wind power user.
* India has the ninth largest solar thermal power generation in terms of million units per square meter.

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