STI policy to be reshaped. How can it contribute to Sustainable Development Goals

When Niti Ayog( Planning commission) had released sustainable development goals index (SDG Index), there was a significant improvement in several factors when compared to previous years especially health, water, and sanitation but some of the major issues like poverty, gender, hunger, and environment-related parameters, still pertain.

This year, India is working on a new Science, technology, and innovation policy (STI) to attain sustainability in the coming years. The whole idea of formulating the news STI policy is being done with the intention to focus on the socio-economic factors resulting in the progress of the nation. Will the new wave of projecting a particular type of approach toward diverse development help India reach Sustainable development goals.

As per the government’s earlier initiatives ‘sab ka sath sab ka vikaas’ which roughly translates into collective efforts inclusive growth and other such efforts on the same lines, it becomes very clear that the center wants a very general yet collective approach to attaining sustainability. But for a country as diverse as India, it might be a problem. In a country where the dialect changes every three kilometers, a goal that is achievable to all and interests all will be difficult to come up with.

In the current policymaking, there is a fair share of emphasis on equal participation, steps based on evidence, and decentralization of work. There will be more responsibility on state heads unlike how it was till now. This is good for a start. But this government holds the tendency to take back the power it had once given so, states will have to work in marvelous coordination with the center to attain the set parameters of the SDG. With this, the STI policy must also acknowledge that till now the ‘innovation’ they talk about is restricted to labs. There is a lot of work to be done when it comes to comprehensive socio-technological development within society. Only by this very factor can we achieve one of the major parameters of development—lifestyle.

One more thing to consider is the longevity of the policy. It should be aiming for an impact or short term goals but should be looking to run a marathon. To change the very concept of living and enter the much nurtured area of a society or a community can be risky and time taking. Starting from gaining the confidence of people to showing them what sustainable growth actually means, there is a lot of effort on the ground that should be made. Apart from these, one of the things that India and the policymakers should focus on is not copying the other countries. Inspiration or idolizing can be shown to appreciation but how Indian works and function is way more different. So there should,t be any generalization of an approach or policy. This being done, India can surely touch better results in the SDG index in the coming years.

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