Empowered group to fix tech woes

Dual-use applications will be studied

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of an empowered technology group to help address issues such as “sub-optimal industrial development”.

Among the key issues the 12-member panel headed by the Principal Scientific Adviser will address is “dual-use technologies not being optimally commercialised”, the government said in a note. Dual-use technologies have civilian and military applications.

The group, whose members’ names have not been disclosed, is expected to develop in-house expertise in aspects of policy and use of emerging technologies, and ensure sustainability of technology being developed at public sector organisations.

The government said the group would also work to ensure that India had an updated map of technology and technology products available and being developed; develop an “indigenisation road map” for selected key technologies; encourage Union Ministries and departments and State governments to develop in-house expertise in policy; and use aspects of emerging technologies.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing that the decision to set up such a group was based on recommendations of a committee led by the Principal Scientific Adviser.

Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, who confirmed that he is in the group, said the move would be useful to coordinate research. “Say I have a technology and would like to find what other organisations could benefit from it... this mechanism is welcome,” he said.

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