• NITI Aayog constituted a Task force headed by Professor Goverdhan Mehta, Chairman, National Accreditation Board of Education & Training, Quality Council of India & Chairman of Task Force, Quality Council of India with members drawn from leading scientific institutions and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to devise the framework for assessment of innovation excellence indicators of public funded R&D institutions.
  • Based on multiple deliberations and discussions among stakeholders under different ministries and departments such as Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) etc. alog with a group of eminent academicians and experts to arrive at the most accurate manner of assessment parameters.
  • It was noted that although various R&D labs work on diverse areas, but they can be grouped into three categories i.e. Basic Research Labs, Applied Research Labs and Service Labs. The task force extensively consulted the directors of 30 R&D labs (10 in each category) followed by multiple meetings with the Secretaries of various Ministries/ Departments and inclusive views have been incorporated in the framework for each kind of category after the consent of Secretaries of S & T departments and Task force members.
  • As directed by the PMO, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, has been entrusted with the responsibility for implementation of the assessment and CII has been designated as the Knowledge partner for the ‘Evaluation of Science Indicators for Centrally Funded R&D Organisations’. CII along with the Office of the PSA conducted a pilot scale study anchored on the data sets of 14 R&D organizations spread over 6 Ministries/ Departments. Based on the results from the first set of labs, CII and Centre for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER) after extensive consultations with the experts designated from the Office of the PSA further refined the framework into its current form.
  • The framework has 62 questions categorized under three main pillars which are common to all the three categories:
    • Inputs (Organisation Effectiveness),
    • Outputs (Science, Technology and Innovation Excellence)
    • Outcomes (Socio Economic Impact)
  • The process of formulation of this framework has shown that it is a complex exercise due to the diversity of the R&D institutions. However, the developed framework has been able to address this complexity and diversity to the best possible extent and shall go a long way in infusing a spirit of competition towards generating higher and better outcomes in India’s research environment. Such an end goal is vital for the nation to progress towards the creation of a knowledge economy.