8.31 The main areas where the future oceano- graphic research would be pursued during the Eighth Plan relate to survey work under po- lymetallic nodule programme for the relin- quishment of pioneer area (alloted to India) to the International Seabed Authority, collection of 50 tonnes of nodules, continuation of the pilot plants operations at National Mettalugi- cal Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur and Re- gional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubneshwar, environmental impact asses- ment study of seabed mining; strengthening of the NIOT; generation of maps on new parame- ters like chlorophyll, suspended sediments, crosion/depositional features etc. in different maritime states; launching the data buoys pro- gramme with Norwegian Agency for Develop- ment (NORAD) assistance. The activities to be undertaken by DOD would be mainly on R&D and demonstration. The programmes like MARSIS, COMAPS, etc., which have made significant progress would eventually be trans- ferred to the State governments or to the other concerned organisations like the Pollution Control Boards etc.
8.32 The focus of the programmes on Science and Technology has been in the broad areas of R&D promotion, special technology develop- ment and coordination, S&T for socio-eco- nomic development, development of medium range weather forecasting system, improve- ment of weather forecasting and related re- search and support to autonomous scientific institutions/ societies for promotion of re- search in frontier areas of science and engi- neering.
8.33 Under R&D promotion, more than 400 R&D projects have been supported; National facilities in the areas of liquid crystals, neuros- ciences, X-ray crystallography, climate re- search, roboties etc. set up; and the national programmes on lasers superconductivity etc. initiated. The special technology development programmes have been initiated in the areas of building materials, orthopaedic devices, mini- micro hydel power, robotics, compressed natural gas, geotechnical centrifuge, CFC sub- stitutes, parallel computer, cobalt recovery, magnesia from sea etc. Technology mission mode projects in the areas of sugar production technologies, advanced composites and fly ash utilisation and disposal have been launched. The Technology Information Forecasting Assessment Council (TIFAC) completed a number of technology forecasting/ assessment studies in a large number of areas like infor- mation technology, micro electronics, high pu- rity and high volume industrial gases, etc. Other achievement of TIFAC is the finalisa- tion of 8 Home Grown Technology (HGT) which are expected to strengthen the linkages between the lab and industry through commer- cialisation and signing of MOUs between TI- FAC and CMC for the operationalisation of TIFACLINE, a technology information sys- tem and between TIFAC and Confederation of' Indian Industries (CII) for strengthening the mechanism of transfer of technologies devel- oped through TIFAC. For commercialisation of indigenously developed technologies. a Technology Development Fund has recently been created. The areas of international S&T cooperation comprise of materials science and engineering, biotechnology, computer sci- ences, catalysis etc. The Advanced Research Centre (ARC), Hyderabad developed a num- ber of powder metallurgy products for use by Indian Army, Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) etc. The areas of joint programmes with developed countries include surface en- gineering, biotechnology, marine sciences, so- lar energy technologies etc.
8.34 For the socio economic development of Rural and Urban Poor, Women, Weaker Sec- tions, Scheduled Castes and Tribal Population etc. anumber of technologies have been devel- oped on carp breeding; seed raising-, rain water harvesting; soak pits, water filters, water test- ing kits, low cost toilets etc. Development of technologies apart, efforts have been made through S&T Entrepreneurship Development Programme for the creation of a number of job opportunities through training and awareness. Several science popularisation programmes like Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, national children science congress Radio serial and TV serials on science themes have also been initi- ated. 22 database centres have also been set up
in different geo-environmental settings for developmental planning under the NRDMS programme. The Department played an impor- tant role in the promotion of S&T activities in all the States and UTs.
8.35 The other important areas where consid- erable support was extended by DST are : natural disaster management; upgradation of seismic instrumentation, seismic surveillance etc. through a collaborative programme with Russia; development of super computing ca- pability for global weather and climate model- ling through indigenously developed parallel processing system; conversion of analogue plotting instruments with digital recording de- vices by the Survey of India; preparation of health and disease atlas, district planning map series by NATMO etc. Valuable contributions of the 13 autonomous scientific institutions supported by DST are in the fields of pa- laeobotany, microbiology and genetic engi- neering, material sciences, plasma research, astronomy and astrophysics geomagnetism, tropical meteorology, medical S&T, Himala- yan geology etc.
8.36 Besides these, India Meteorological De- partment has successfully commissioned a so- phisticated computer based image processing system and an earth station under INSAT II programme; and the seismological observa- tory network was augumented. Its modernisa- tion programme has resulted in successful long range seasonal prediction of monsoon rainfall over the country, prediction of cyclones and effective monitoring of earthquake events.
8.37 During the remaining period of the Eighth Plan, while the major emphasis would be to strengthen R&D efforts particularly in the ar- eas of drug design, bio-diversity, plasma chemistry, nano-materials/carbon, bio-proc- ess engineering, noise control, software engi- nearing, mathematical sciences, software engineering, superconductivity, development of various instruments, biosensors/ molecular electronics etc.; special efforts would be made on the aspect of transfer of know-how to in- dustry. TIFAC's efforts would be on strength- ening of the information system, generation of special reports of task forces and promotion of various home grown technologies. The new programmes on the upgradation of seismologi- cal instrumentation and related geophysical studies in penninsular Shield would be taken up on a mission mode with World Bank assis- tance.
8.38 The Science and Society programmes would comprise of the activities of Mahila Vigyan Kendras, on-job scientific and techni- cal training for women, development and ap- plication of technology for weaker sections by involving young scientists etc. Under NRDMS programme the project for upgradation of GRAM-GIS package would be launched with UNDP assistance. Science and Technology Communication and Popularisation pro- gramme would aim at training in S&T commu- nication, support to regional science magazines in regional languages, publication of popular science books, preparation of soft- ware for folk media etc.
8.39 The International S&T Cooperation aims at making new S&T arrangements with Kyr- ghistan, Turkmenistan and Belarus and under- taking new arrangements with many countries like Israel, Japan, Uzbekistan, Mauritius, USA, European Union and South Africa in the areas of biotechnology, material and informa- tion technology, manufacturing science, as- tronomy, astrophysics, molecular structure, spectroscopy, modern biology etc.
8.40 A permanent campus for the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast- ing would be constructed at Noida, Uttar Pradesh, where the existing supercomputer would be replaced and satellite based telecom- munication facilities extended to all the State Agricultural Universities and AMFUs to fa- cilitate medium range weather forecasts 5 days in advance.
8.41 The IMD would be commissioning 3 X-band weather radars, 4 wind - finding-cum- weather radars, High Resolution Picture Transmission Satellite Ground Equipment at Madras and 3 S-band Doppler radars; switch- ing computer at RTH, Now Delhi upgraded-, seismological observatories modernised; and a Central Training Institute for Meteorology and a new regional meteorolgical centre in North Eastern Region established. A major new initiative would be the design of a large Himalayan Infrared and Optical Telescope (HIROT) for deployment at an elevation of 4500 mtr. in Himalayas to study neutron stars, black holes, cosmology etc.
8.42 Support to these programmes notwith- standing there is need to lay emphasis on the application of research results for technology development and the eventual improvement in quality of life. For this, an integrated pro- gramme on seismology may be evolved for
improvement of seismological observation and related research activities; in the imple- mentation of the technology development and demonstration projects, active participation of industries/ users ensured; Science and Tech- nology Advisory Committees of the various socio economic ministries and Inter-Sectoral Science and Technology Advisory Committee of DST reactivated so that the existing S&T institutional infrastructure facilities and exper- tise would be optimally utilised by the users/ user departments. There is immediate need to tie up the S&T entrepreneurship development programme of DST with the ongoing employ- ment generation programmes. Likewise the Science Communication and Popularisation Programmes as well as science and society related R&D programmes need to be tied up with the programmes of the State S&T Coun- cils/ Departments to ensure the implementa- tion of location specific programmes with S&T intervention and active participation of voluntary organisations. The total modernisa- tion Programme of IMD needs reformulation through a programme of replacement of old equipment, installation of new facilities, strengthening of manpower, capital works programme etc., to facilitate its implementa- tion in a phased manner depending on the availiability of resources.
8.43 The main focus of the Council of Scien- tific & Industrial Research (CSIR) during the Eighth Plan has been on a few selected areas of high priority oriented to industrial develop- ment, export promotion and to those that pro- vide internationally competitive technical services to the industries. Accordingly, for the purpose of deciding priorities in funding the R&D programmes of the national laboratories have been considered under four groups viz. Industry/economy oriented, Societal, Basic re- search and Research support activities and technical services.
8.44 Some of the significant achievements of CSIR during the Eighth Plan include : devel- opment of technology for Centchroman, a non- steroidal female contraceptive; agrochemicals like Acephate (insecticide),Glyphosate (her- bicide) and Thiophenate methyl (fungicide); wood substitute for door shutters; improved Fe- molybdenum catalyst for conversion of ethanol to formaldehyde; 10-TPD modem oil expeller; manufacture of a semi synthetic an- tibiotic Roxythromycin; design and develop- ment of two-seater aircraft; establishment of tissue culture Pilot Plant Facility etc. Some important products developed in the industrial development sector are : a Zeolite catalyst by NCL for use in anon-toxic, non corrosive, zero pollution route for linear alkyl benzene, cata- lytic conversion to reduce pollution from 2/4 stroke engine vehicles by National Environ- mental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI); 50 TPD oil expellers to reduce re- sidual oil contents from 9% to 6% by CMERI; a lightweight (78 Kg) corrosion fee and high impact strength fibre reinforced plastic gear- case; bimetallic and alumina catalysts by IIP; water proofing polymer by NCL; design pack- ages for 100 TPD and 50 TPD cement plants etc. Other R&D contributions include physical and biological monitoring of air, soil/sedi- ments and water quality; technologies for the production of hydro-fluorocarbons, develop- ment of designs for effluent treatment plants, waste water treatment plants and power plants- low cost alternate building materials for weaker sections and disaster mitigation in the buildings through the use of appropriate de- signs and materials etc. Due to the initiatives taken by CSIR, the cashflow from external sources has grown from about Rs. 64 crore in 1990-91 to about Rs. 95 crore during 1993-94 and the value of industrial production based on CSIR knowhow from Rs. 840 crore in 1988-89 to about Rs. 2,250 crore in 1993-94.
8.45 A number of competitive technologies are being developed by CSIR and capabilites built up in the new generic technologies for the future as well as for the societal needs in the country. In the area of drugs 1/4th of the pat- ents in the country and nearly all patents taken abroad came out of CSIR system alone. The CSIR has gained enough experience in the export of technologies and has also strength- ened the system of patenting activities in the laboratories as well as at the Headquarters. For example, the NCL, Pune has contract R&D agreements with DU- PONT, GE, HOECHST etc, and has developed strategic alliances with the FMC etc., the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has contracted an R&D agreement with ABBOT and has licensed tech- nology in the area of FLORAFRICA and the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) has similar agreements with the IDRC, SATRA, HUNI etc.
8.46 Future thrust of CSIR would be on selec- tive modernisation of various CSIR laborato- ries, upscaling of technologies, extension of societal programmes, construction of high
speed wind tunnel facilities. While continuing the ongoing R&D programmes, a technology mission mode project on leather technologies would also be launched during the Eighth Plan. Besides these, the ongoing programmes on human resource development would be con- tinued and the residential accomodation pro- jects on hand completed.
8.47 The broad heads under which the activi- ties of DSIR are being undertaken are : Tech- nology Promotion, Development and Utilisation (TPDU) to promote inhouse R&D by industry, to attain technological self reli- ance and to enhance efficacy of transfer of technology; Development and promotion of National Information System on S&T (NIS- SAT)- Commercialisation of R&D results as well as promotion of growth of indigenous technologies through National Research De- velopment Corporation (NRDC) and R&D ac- tivities of the Central Electronics Ltd. relating to solar photovoltaic cells, ferrites, light emit- ting diodes etc.
8.48 The support to these schemes has resulted in providing recognition to 175 new R&D units in industry and 120 non- commercial scientific and industrial R&D institutions; commercialising a range of products such as CNC controls, freeze dryers, cryogenic con- tainers etc.; publication of a number of tech- nology evaluation reports in the areas of fertilisers, cement, steel etc,; setting up 10 S&T information centres in the areas of leather, food technology, machine tools, drugs and pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals, com- pact disks, advanced ceramics, bibliometrics and crystallography and creating 5 regular fa- cilities to access the international data centres at New Delhi, Madras, Calcutta, Pune and Bangalore. NRDC has acquired 92 new tech- nologies in the fields of invert sugar, mosquito repellent, carbon fibre, glycol based automo- tive engine coolants, detergent grade zeolite powder etc. from R&D laboratories and con- cluded 123 technology licencing agreements with the industries. Several new Initiatives have been taken up by NRDC which include technology consultancy, contract research, foreign patent, protection and small and me- dium industry innovation programme. The R&D projects of Central Electronics Ltd. (CEL) have resulted in developing new tech- nology for the production of ultra high effi- ciency solar cells in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, Australia; new Solar Photovoltaics (SPV) systems for specific applications to enlarge SPV market which include indigenous submersible pump, brushless DC motors, battery chargers etc.; standardising process parameters for commer- cial volume production of the high frequency and microwave ferrites/ferritc components and new electronic systems for railway signal- ling and safety.
8.49 Despite the achievements made by the by CSIR, there are certain improvements to be introduced. The steps needed for these are : further restructuring of the non-plan outlay, projectisation of the programmes especially the modernisation aspects of the CSIR labora- tories etc. For the creation of technology trans- fer fund, a joint approach with the DST is required.
8.50 There have been certain non-measurable benefits of TPDU schemes such as : useful interactions in many areas for the promotion of industrial research, for the import of tech- nology and related aspects and for the promo- tion of consultancy organisations in the developmental activities. As a result of the linkages between companies and national laboratories/ institutions have been built up; nationwide awareness created for the technol- ogy absorption, consultancy capabilities, mechanisms of transfer of technology etc- and primary data obtained on many aspects relat- ing to technology imports and utilisation and bringing out several useful reports on various aspects of industrial technology development and its utilisation. In the case of NISSAT, setting up of Information Centres etc. is not enough but marketing mechanisms are re- quired to be evolved to make the S&T infor- mation system self sustaining. It should also widen its operational framework instead of limiting itself to S&T libraries; handle larger volumes of information transfer activities'. identify priority areas in consultation with the industry and pay attention towards the devel- opment of databases and information systems concerned with technology, business and in- dustry. CEL should continue their efforts to obtain atleast partial financial support from the concerned user agencies. Since the NRDC and CEL are business organisations, there is a need to work out a plan so that these public sector undetakings would be gradually less depend- ent on the budget support and should finally become self supporting in the long run.