The Government of India has set up organizations to promote research and development in these fields. They are the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), for promoting industrial development, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), to promote research in medicine and agriculture respectively.
The departments of Electronics, Space, Atomic Energy, Ocean Development Organization (DRDO), the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Environment and Forests also have their own research and development laboratories.
In 1953, the Indian Parliament passed the Scientific Policy Research Resolution (SPRR), aimed at promoting scientific research in pure, applied and educational fields, in 1983. Technology Policy Statement (TPS) was enforced to promote indigenous technology. It is aimed at ensuring the adaptation of international technological breakthrough, keeping in mind the availability of resources and national priorities.
With the success of the Green Revolution, India s scientific research for a boost. Under the quality seed programme, the country made a small beginning with a few thousand quintals of improved seeds in the 60s. Soil and water conservation measures have helped in increasing agricultural field.
Horticulture crops cover a wide range of crops, viz. Fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants, mushrooms, plantation crops and spokes among others. Horticultural research has helped India achieve the first position in fruit production in the world and second position in vegetable production.
Efforts are being made to bring mushroom cultivation on scientific lines leading to higher productivity and better quality. Floriculture is another sphere which has received attention after liberalization. Orchids, tuberose and number of hybrid flowers are cultivated for exports.
These are now considered to have an immense potential in the field of making perfumes also. Using the technique of tissue culture and genetic engineering, plants like baronial, tomato, mustard, grapes, chrysanthemum and trees like sheesham have been developed. A large number of agricultural universities and research institutes have come up across India.
Animal husbandry and dairy development have played an important role in supplementing the income of the households in the rural sector, scientific research has helped in developing indigenous breeds of cattle, which are immune to animal diseases and are sturdy.
Scientific research in this direction has helped the landless and small and marginal farmers. The development of Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) has given an opportunity to introduce selective breeding approaches.
Biotechnology has improved the nutritional quality of animal, bird fish or plant products. Research in fisheries has helped in the high yield of prawns for export. At Karnal, dairy scientists have developed a technique for producing several identical buffalo calves from single embryo. It is India’s answer to Doily, the world’s first cloned mammal.
India has been able to bring about an effective disease control. The polio vaccine has been used effectively to eradicate childhood disabilities. Methods like mammography and tomography have enabled the doctors to detect cancer at an early stage.
We have also been able to eradicate smallpox completely from India. The multi drug therapy has enabled to control the spread of leprosy in India. Indigenous AIDS diagnostics, the ELISA system has been developed to detect the HIV virus in patients.
Under Indo- US Vaccine Action Programme Progress has been made under some of the projects undertaken in the area of viral Hepatitis C and, cholera. Typhoid, E.Coli diarrhoea, polio and tuberculosis. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Department of Space have developed our space programme to great heights.
Remote sensing has enabled us to predict the yield of major crops like wheat, rice, cotton. Mulberry etc. at the national level. It is able to forecast weather, floods, cyclones and droughts, which help us to take adequate protective and relief measures beforehand. Telecommunications have also touched a new height.
The Government is planning to connect the country with a National Information Highway (NIH) Cellular phones, radio, paging voice mail, fax, e-mail, electronic date interchange have brought about a revolution in the field of telecommunication.
On may 26, 1999, the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS-P4) was launched successfully by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) ‘Ocean sat- 1’, as it is called, is dedicated to ocean studies. A German and a Korean satellite were also launched with IRS-P4, Which demonstrated the achievements of Indian Space technologists.
The Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) is involved in the exploration of oil and natural gas, and their production and sale. Natural gas has been an important fuel for industry. The Fourth Five Year Plan gave an impetus to the fields of offshore exploration, production, refining and marketing activities. In 1965, the Engineers India Ltd. (EIL), was set up to provide engineering expertise and technical services to petroleum refineries, oil and gas pipelines, petrochemical industries, and other industrial projects.
Research organizations like the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) coordinate the work in nuclear power generation. India has harnessed atomic energy for peaceful purposes, using its own reserves of uranium and thorium.
New areas like Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have been identifies as the areas with deposits of uranium. Production of radio-isotopes for use in medicine, agriculture3 and industry has been carried out with success. India has perfected a state of the art combined process technology for the commercial production of titanium. This was once the monopoly of the countries like Japan, USA China and UK.
The CSIR has contributed in promoting industrial development. It provides technical expertise for the up gradation of existing technologies and evolving new indigenous technologies to meet the needs of the industry.
Technology transfers in areas like drugs, agro- chemicals, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining etc. have been carried out by the CSIR. In the area of drugs and pharmaceuticals, it has make India self reliant. The CSIR laboratories offer solutions to the problems faced by the Indian industries. The scientific research by the CSIR covers a wide area from electronics to rural housing.
The Department of Ocean Development was created in 1981 for promoting ocean development activities in the country. It succeeded in collecting metallic modules from the ocean bed which only a few advance countries can boast of. The ocean exploration gives the access to a vast source of metals, which have accumulated over millions of years.
The Antarctic Exploration and Polar Science programme was initiated in 1981. India set up a modern and indigenously-built station, Maitri, in the Schirmacher Oasis at Antractica in 1989. The station has been linked with India through the electronic mail network making it possible to transmit online date to various laboratories in the country.
This gives us an insight into the extent of scientific research undertakes in India. The research carried out in various departments has made a great impact on different areas. Scientific research has come a long way and it has been for the betterment of humankind in India.