TECHNOLOGY POLICY STATEMENT
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
TECHNOLOGY POLICY STATEMENT , January 1983
Political freedom must lead to economic independence and the alleviation
of the burden of poverty. We have regarded science and technology
as the basis of economic progress. As a result of three decades
of planning, and the Scientific Policy Resolution of 1958, we now
have a strong agricultural and industrial base and a scientific
manpower impressive in quality, numbers and range of skills. Given
clear-cut objectives and the necessary support, our science has
shown its capacity to solve problems.
The frontiers of knowledge are being extended at incredible speed,
opening up wholly new areas and introducing new concepts.
Technological advances are influencing life-styles as well as
The use and development of technology must relate to the people’s
aspirations. Our own immediate needs in India are the attainment of
technological self-reliance, a swift and tangible improvement in the
conditions of the weakest sections of the population and the speedy
development of backward regions. India is known for its diversity.
Technology must suit local needs and to make an impact on the lives
of ordinary citizens, must give constant thought to even small
improvements which could make better and more cost-effective use of
existing materials and methods of work. Our development must be
based on our own culture and personality. Our future depends on our
ability to resist the imposition of technology which is obsolete or
unrelated to our specific requirements and of policies which tie us
to systems which serve the purposes of others rather than our own,
and on our success in dealing with vested interests in our
organizations: governmental, economic, social and even intellectual,
which bind us to outmoded systems and institutions.
Technology must be viewed in the broadest sense, covering the
agricultural and the services sectors along with the obvious
manufacturing sector. The latter stretches over a wide spectrum
ranging from village, small-scale and cottage industries (often
based on traditional skills) to medium, heavy and sophisticated
industries. Our philosophy of a mixed economy involves the operation
of the private, public and joint sectors, including those with
foreign equity participation.
Our directives must clearly define systems for the choice of
technology, taking into account economic, social and cultural
factors along with technical considerations; indigenous development
and support to technology, and utilization of such technology;
acquisition of technology through import and its subsequent
absorption, adaptation and upgradation; ensuring competitiveness at
international levels in all necessary areas; and establishing links
between the various elements concerned with generation of
technology, its transformation into economically utilizable form,
the sector responsible for production (which is the user of such
technology), financial institutions concerned with the resources
needed for these activities, and the promotional and regulating arms
of the Government.
This Technology Policy Statement is in response to the need for
guidelines to cover this wide-ranging and complex set of
inter-related areas. Keeping in mind the capital-scarce character of
a developing economy it aims at ensuring that our available natural
endowments, especially human resources, are optimally utilized for a
continuing increase in the well-being of all sections of our people.
We seek technological advancement not for prestige or aggrandisement
but to solve our multifarious problems and to be able to safeguard
our independence and our unity. Our modernization, far from
diminishing the enormous diversity of our regional traditions should
help to enrich them and to make the ancient wisdom of our nation
more meaningful to our people.
Our task is gigantic and calls for close co-ordination between the
different departments of the Central and State Governments and also
of those concerned, at all levels, with any sector of economic,
scientific or technological activity, and, not least, the
understanding and involvement of the entire Indian people. We look
particularly to young people to bring a scientific attitude of mind
to bear on all our problems.
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The basic objectives of the Technology Policy will be the
development of indigenous technology and efficient absorption and
adaptation of imported technology appropriate to national priorities
and resources. Its aims are to:
a) attain technological competence and self-reliance, to reduce
vulnerability, particularly in strategic and critical areas, making
the maximum use of indigenous resources;
b) provide the maximum gainful and satisfying employment to all
strata of society, with emphasis on the employment of women and
weaker sections of society;
c) use traditional skills and capabilities, making them commercially
d) ensure the correct mix between mass production technologies and
production by the masses;
e) ensure maximum development with minimum capital outlay;
f) identify obsolescence of technology in use and arrange for
modernization of both equipment and technology;
g) develop technologies which are internationally competitive,
particularly those with export potential;
h) improve production speedily through greater efficiency and fuller
utilization of existing capabilities, and enhance the quality and
reliability of performance and output;
i) reduce demands on energy, particularly energy from non-renewable
j) ensure harmony with the environment, preserve the ecological
balance and improve the quality of the habitat; and
k) recycle waste material and make full utilization of by-products.
In a country of India’s size and endowments, self-reliance is
inescapable and must be at the very heart of technological
development. We must aim at major technological break-throughs in
the shortest possible time for the development of indigenous
technology appropriate to national priorities and resources. For
this, the role of different agencies will be identified,
responsibilities assigned and the necessary linkages established.
2.3 Strengthening the Technology Base
Research and Development, together with science and technology
education and training of a high order, will be accorded pride of
place. The base of science and technology consists of trained and
skilled manpower at various levels, covering a wide range of
disciplines, and an appropriate institutional, legal and fiscal
infrastructure. Consolidation of the existing scientific base and
selective strengthening of thrust areas in it are essential. Special
attention will be given to the promotion and strengthening of the
technology base in newly emerging and frontier areas such as
information and materials sciences, electronics and bio-technology.
Education and training to upgrade skills are also of utmost
importance. Basic research and the building of centres of excellence
will be encouraged.
Skills and skilled workers will be accorded special recognition. The
quality and efficiency of the technology generation and delivery
systems will be continuously monitored and upgraded. All of this
calls for substantial financial investments and also strengthening
of the linkages between various sectors (educational institutions,
R&D establishments, industry and governmental machinery).
3.1 Need for Perspective Planning
The time scales involved in the generation of technology are long,
even with imported elements. Therefore, relevant technologies in all
areas of priority, particularly where large investments are to be
made, should be clearly identified well in advance. The cost and
time element involved in the import of technology and indigenous
development will be given consideration. Components which could be
assigned to the various institutions which are capable of developing
them or which could be built up for such activities will be
identified. Ministries concerned with large investments and
production activities in areas such as food, health and energy will
be provided with appropriate technical support through suitably
structured S&T groups.
Human resources constitute our richest endowment. Conditions will be
created for the fullest expression and utilization of scientific
talent. Measures will be taken for the identification and diffusion
of technologies that can progressively reduce the incidence of
poverty and unemployment, and of regional inequalities. The
application of science and technology for the improvement of
standards of living of those engaged in traditional activities will
be promoted, particularly household technologies. Technologies
relevant to the cottage, village and small industries sector will be
upgraded. In the decentralized sector labour must be diversified and
all steps taken to reduce drudgery. In all sectors, the potential
impact on employment will be an important criterion in the choice of
Energy constitutes an expensive and sometimes scarce input.
Therefore, the energy requirements both of a direct and indirect
nature for each product and each production activity and the
associated technology employed will be analysed. Measures will be
devised to avoid wastage or non-optimal use of energy. Fiscal
measures as necessary will be introduced to ensure these. Research
and Development in the energy sector will aim at improving the
efficiency of its production, distribution and utilization, as well
as improvement of efficiency in processes and equipment.
3.4 Efficiency and Productivity
Technologies already employed will be evaluated on a continuing
basis to realise maximum benefits in terms of increased production
and lower costs, specially in the public sector enterprises. Every
effort should be made to utilize by-products and wherever possible
to recycle waste materials, especially those from urban areas.
Programmes to make use of easily available and less costly materials
will be supported.
Development should not upset the ecological balance for short as
well as long-term considerations. Poorly planned efforts to achieve
apparently rapid development, ignoring the long-term effect of many
technologies on the environment, have resulted in serious ecological
damage. It is, therefore, essential to analyse the environmental
impact of the application of each technology. Due regard will be
given to the preservation and enhancement of the environment in the
choice of technologies. Measures to improve environmental hygiene
will be evolved.
3.6 Some Specific Areas
In technology development special emphasis will be focused on food,
health, housing, energy and industry. In particular, stress will be
agriculture including dry-land farming;
optimum use of water resources, increased production of pulses and
provision of drinking water in rural areas, improvement of
nutrition, rapid reduction in the incidence of blindness,
eradication of the major communicable diseases (such as leprosy and
tuberculosis), and population stabilization;
development and use of renewable non-conventional sources of energy;
4. INDIGENOUS TECHNOLOGY
4.1 Importance of Technology Development
Fullest support will be given to the development of indigenous
technology to achieve technological self-reliance and reduce the
dependence on foreign inputs, particularly in critical and
vulnerable areas and in high value-added items in which the domestic
base is strong. Strengthening and diversifying the domestic
technology base are necessary to reduce imports and to expand
exports for which international competitiveness must be ensured.
The spirit of innovation and invention is the driving force behind
all technological change. We must awaken our science and technology
to the exciting challenges of our times, provide incentives to
encourage inventors, and direct their efforts to areas of special
importance. The system of rewards and incentives will be
strengthened for inventions, innovations and technological
breakthroughs and their utilization. The fullest opportunity will be
provided to make use of inventions.
4.3 Enhancing Traditional Skills and Capabilities
Traditional skills and capabilities will need to be upgraded and
enhanced, using knowledge and techniques generated by advances in
science and technology. Technologies which will result in low-cost
production and in products marketable close to the point of
manufacture, particularly in the rural sector, will be promoted.
Support will be given to technologies which reduce pressure on items
in short supply and utilize improved local materials and methods.
Government will give preference to products of such technologies in
its own purchases. The adoption of technologies that can promote
decentralized production will be helped through the support to
design, marketing, quality control and other services.
4.4 Ensuring Timely Availability
The time cycle from scientific research to utilization is a long
one. Hence the need to initiate action well in advance to identify
and ensure timely availability and delivery of new technologies.
Encouragement and support (fiscal, commercial and administrative)
will be given to the production and user organizations to be
associated with and participate in technology development efforts at
4.5 Upgradation to Prevent Obsolescence
Technology is constantly on the move. The base of indigenous
technology should be capable of utilizing world-wide advances and
adapting them to local needs. The creation and strengthening of
institutional structures for keeping track of international
developments will receive urgent attention.
A strong central group will be constituted to undertake technology
forecast and technology assessment studies and will inter alia draw
up programmes of purposeful research. Arrangements will be made to
provide high-level scientific advice in major sectors of the
economy. Where big investments are involved or a large volume of
production is envisaged, it will be incumbent on the Ministry or
agency concerned to provide a technology forecast covering its
requirements over a ten-year or longer period and evolve a strategy
for development based on priorities.
4.6 Increasing the Demand for Indigenous Technology
Our country has already invested significant amounts in setting up
research and development facilities as well as design consultancy
and engineering capabilities. The technological potential inherent
in this system of interlinked capabilities must be fully utilized,
and in turn provide a fillip for further development from within the
system. Incentives will, therefore, be provided to users of
indigenously developed technology, and for products and processes
resulting for such use.
4.7 Preferential Treatment
In view of the cost of technology development and the time necessary
for successful marketing of a new or improved product, indigenously
developed items are invariably at a disadvantage compared with
imported products or those based on imported technologies and brand
names. Support must therefore be provided through fiscal and other
measures, for a limited period, in favour of products made through
indigenously developed technologies, care being taken to ensure
4.8 Fiscal Incentives
Suitable financial mechanisms will be established to facilitate
investment on pilot plants, process demonstration units and
prototype development in order to enable rapid commercial
exploitation of technologies developed in laboratories. Linkages
between scientific and technological institutions and development
banks will be strengthened. Gaps in technology will be identified
and suitable corrective measures taken with adequate allocation of
resources. Fiscal incentives will be provided in particular to :
promote inventions; increase the use of indigenously developed
technology; enhance in-house Research and Development in industry;
and efforts directed to absorb and adapt imported technology.
4.9 Design Engineering
Capabilities in design engineering are essential for the translation
of know-how to commercial production. This is particularly important
in areas relating to : agricultural production; agro-industries;
metallurgical, chemical and petrochemical processes; machine tools;
industrial machinery and capital goods; as well as for the
construction and erection of entire plants. Building up and
enhancing these capabilities will have a catalytic beneficial impact
on the utilization of indigenous efforts that have resulted in
product and process know-how. Existing design engineering
capabilities will be strengthened and upgraded, and interaction
encouraged between design engineering organizations, academic and
research institutions and industry. Wherever gaps exist, design
engineering capabilities will be developed and nurtured.
4.10 Engineering Consultancy
Engineering consultancy is a vital area for ensuring speedy
technological and industrial development. It ensures the appropriate
utilization of indigenous materials, plant and machinery.
Engineering consultancy provides an essential link between R&D
institutions and industry, and thus promotes effective transfer of
technology. Capability for total systems engineering, process
development and project management should be developed with
collaboration if required. Wherever capability exists, utilization
of Indian consultancy engineering organizations will be promoted.
Even where foreign technical collaboration or consultancy is
considered unavoidable, association of designated Indian consulting
engineering organizations would be preferred. Indigenous engineering
consultancy, in both private and public sectors, will be promoted on
a sound professional basis in the context of the overall national
perspective of technological self-reliance.
4.11 In-house R&D
In-house R&D units in industry provide a desirable and essential
interface between efforts within the national laboratories and the
educational sector as well as production in industry. Appropriate
incentives will be given to the setting up of R&D units in industry
and for industry including those on a cooperative basis. Enterprises
will be encouraged to set up R&D units of a size to permit the
accomplishment of major technological tasks.
5. TECHNOLOGY ACQUISITION
5.1 Mix of Indigenous and Imported Technology
A policy directed towards technological self-reliance does not imply
technological self-sufficiency. The criterion must be national
interest. Government policy will be directed towards reducing
technological dependence in key areas.
Advantage should be taken of technological developments elsewhere.
This can also be achieved through well-defined collaborative
arrangements in research and development.
At any given point of time, there will be a mix of indigenous and
imported technology. However, technology acquisition from outside
shall not be at the expense of national interest. Indigenous
initiative must receive due recognition and support.
In the acquisition of technology, consideration will be given to the
choice and sources of technology, alternative means of acquiring it,
its role in meeting a major felt need, selection and relevance of
the products, costs, and related conditions. A National Register on
Foreign Collaboration will be developed to provide analytical inputs
at various stages of technological acquisition.
5.2 Principles of Acquisition and Technology Assessment
Where the need to import technology is established, every effort
should be made to ensure that it is of the highest level, consistent
with requirements and resources. The technology import will be so
planned as to have effective transfer of basic knowledge (know-why)
and to facilitate further advancement.
Where the import of technology is contemplated, the level to which
technology has been developed, or is in current use, within the
country, shall be first evaluated. Lists of technologies that have
been adequately developed to the extent that import is unnecessary
will be prepared and periodically updated; in such areas no import
of technology would normally be permitted; and the onus will be on
the seeker of foreign technology, be it industry or a user Ministry,
to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the approval authority that
import is necessary.
Technology assessment systems will be reviewed. A technology
assessment mechanism consisting of competent groups will render
advice in all cases of technology import relating to highly
sophisticated technology, large investments and national security.
Aspects of employment, energy, efficiency and environment will be
kept in view.
The basic principles governing the acquisition of technology will
1. Import of technology, and foreign investment in this regard, will
continue to be permitted only on a selective basis where : need has
been established; technology does not exist within the country; the
time taken to generate the technology indigenously would delay the
achievement of development targets.
2. Government may, from time to time, identify and notify such areas
of high national priority, in respect of which procedures would be
simplified further to ensure timely acquisition of the required
3. There shall be a firm commitment for absorption, adaptation and
subsequent development of imported know-how through adequate
investment in Research and Development to which importers of
technology will be expected to contribute.
Technology to fulfil a particular need consists of many components.
It is necessary to develop capability to break down the total
package of technology required for a purpose into components, some
of which may be readily available or could be indigenously
developed, and other that will need to be imported. Norms and
guidelines for such unpackaging will be evolved.
5.4 Absorption of Technology
There shall be a commitment to ensure an adequate scale of
investment in R&D for the absorption, adaptation and, wherever
possible, improvement on and generation of new technology, making
fullest use of overall national capabilities. Only thus can
self-reliance be ensured and a technology generation process
established firmly. Appropriate mechanisms will be evolved at the
stage of technology assessment to ensure the absorption of imported
5.5 Technological Information
The availability of an efficient system of collection and analysis
of relevant technological information, including cost and other
economic aspects, is a prerequisite for the appropriate choice of
technologies. This will considerably enhance the possibility of
obtaining favourable terms and conditions in acquisition of
technology. Such a technology information base will be established.
6. TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFER
Special efforts need to be made for the diffusion of technology in
use to all beneficiaries who can employ them optimally. Appropriate
measures shall be evolved to facilitate technology diffusion,
including : horizontal transfer; technological support for
ancillaries from large units; technology inputs to small units; and
upgradation of traditional skills and capabilities.
6.2 International Competitiveness and Technology Exports
It is necessary to maintain international competitiveness in
products, services and technologies that have export potential.
Conditions for the marketing of indigenous technology and of
products based on it will be improved. It is important in all such
cases to conform to the highest international standards.
6.3 Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries
A concerted effort will be made to participate fully in technical
cooperation among developing countries. Encouragement will be
provided for participation in technology development programmes with
other developing countries which can contribute to mutual national
6.4 Protection : Legislative Framework
Development of technology calls for large investments and often
involves considerable risk. Encouragement will be given to obtaining
necessary protection in all cases of indigenous technology
development. A mechanism will be set up to ensure that national
interests arising from the generating of technology are fully
protected internationally in terms of industrial property rights.
The success of the Technology Policy and the speed with which the
various facets of the policy are implemented will depend to a
considerable extent on a system for efficient monitoring, review and
guidance and a scheme of incentives and disincentives.
Government will evolve instruments for the implementation of this
Technology Policy and spell out in detail guidelines for Ministries
and agencies of Government as well as for industries and
Success in implementation demands a conscious integrated approach
covering technology assessment, development, acquisition,
absorption, utilization and diffusion, and connected aspects of
financing, based on overall national interests, priorities and the
attainment of the most challenging technological goals.
Above all, the entire population must be imbued with self-confidence
and pride in national capacity.
Indian Science and Technology must unlock the creative potential of
our people and help in building the India of our dreams.