Tharoor rues delay in passage of higher education bills
Delay in passage of crucial bills on higher education including one on research and innovation was due to repeated adjournments of Parliament, Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said.
New Delhi: The delay in passage of crucial bills on higher education including one on research and innovation was due to repeated adjournments of Parliament, Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said while expressing concern over low spending in R&D.
"Unfortunately this bill (The Universities for Research and Innovation Bill, 2012) has been a victim of the disfunctionality of the Parliament where those who believe in disruption rather than debate, have ensured that this and many other higher education bills have not even been discussed," he told a function here.
According to him, the passage of this bill is crucial to spur research and development activities in the country where investment in research is only at about 2 per cent of the GDP.
"I do not know when it is going to happen (passage of this bill) and if it is going to happen. The groundwork has been done, they just need to be debated and voted upon in Parliament," he said at the global R&D Summit 2013- destination India`.
The bill entails setting up of 14 innovation universities through public and private funding.
Noting that under-funding is hampering the scientific community in the country, he said the answer lies in keeping the "researchers here with the same resources that they go out to seek".
He also stressed on a "friendly" intellectual property regime for innovators and researchers.
Universities must also look to upgrade basic standards of research. Research institutes must be made accountable maintaining standards, he said.
Principal Scientific Adviser R Chidambaram harped on the importance of strengthening basic research for building on technology and manufacturing.
"You cannot create a super structure of technology and manufacturing without a sound foundation of basic research. You must have manufacturing skills along with R&D skills. It is one field were have lagged behind over the decade," he said.