NASSCOM Study Reveals Tech Institutes Want More Support and Funding from Government
A joint study by The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Infoholic has revealed that as much as 92% of tech institutes in India want the government to take more initiative in boosting research and innovation, as well as facilitate more ties between academia and industry.
The study, which involved interviews with representatives of 75 top technology institutes throughout the country, reveals the view that well-implemented policies are required to have a better connection between industry and academia. The perception right now seems to be that although the government does actively enable the availability of technology products on a commercial basis, student aids still lack the necessary support for research.
2016 and 2017 saw 39% institutes as the recipients for research funding of more than INR 5 crore. Still, the study highlighted funding and guidance as most necessary for successful academic research.
There seems to be no tandem between funding and research. For example, at NIT Tiruchirappalli, while just one project decreased, funding decreased by INR 11 crore. In 2016-17, while the number of sponsored projects rose to 75 in IIT Kharagpur, funding for the same decreased by INR 9 crore. This happened in spite of the fact that 27 more funding agencies made an entry. There are other instances too where funding has come down while the number of projects has risen.
Almost four out of five representatives of institutes have opined that industry-academia collaboration will help encourage entrepreneurship. According to The Economic Times, the study said, “78% of the universities agree that industry-academia convergence will lead to a better entrepreneurship ecosystem”.
Progress in research from top institutes in India can be gauged by the number of patents filed by them, which has been rising recently. According to the study, 70% of the institutes surveyed have filed one or more patents. In 2016-17 itself, IIT Madras filed 126 patents. The total number of patents filed by IIT Delhi to date is more than 600.
NASSCOM is also about to hold the Designstorm Workshop in May for professionals in the product/software tech product space from any industry and a webinar on Chatbots.
According to a study published in 2016, by Science Direct, “Too many of our higher education institutions are simply not up to the mark. Too many of them have simply not kept abreast with changes that have taken place in the world around us…, still producing graduates in subjects that job market no longer requires.”
Last year, students and professors of the scientific academia all over India, including IIT Madras, took to the streets protesting the lack of funding that they faced from the government. The protest took place in more than 26, including Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Bengaluru, with some 10,000 protestors taking part. According to reports, India’s expenditure on science and technology, as a share of its GDP, has remained at 0.8%, much of which goes to space technology.
However, at the same time, the government of India has also been praised recently, when in February, Oraxion Therapeutics Inc, a by-product of Bengaluru-based Aten Porus Lifesciences, announced its collaboration with a US-based biopharmaceutical company, under which the American partner can license Oraxion’s lead drug ORX-301 for the treatment of two rare diseases. The founders of Oraxion Therapeutics, Arun B. Papaiah and Aditya Kulkarni, attributed this science-based entrepreneurial success to the support they received from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), government of India.