Recently much awaited National Education Policy 2020 has been introduced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Now Ministry of Education) , Government of India and being seen as a major transformational step for reform in the Indian Education System. So many dimensions of the Education System has been added in the NEP 2020, in which some are only the Cosmetic Changes and some are being seen as an educational system experiment through herculean and innovative effort to bring a 360 Degree change in the entire Indian Education System. According to the new National Education Policy 2020, public investment in the education sector will be increased to 6 per cent of the GDP . According to the Ministry of Education, the investment is currently around 4.43 per cent of the GDP.
In the National Education Policy looking to the increasing needs of Research and Development a provision of making the Research-intensive Universities, where more emphasis will be on Research and for the promotion of Research in India a National Research Foundation (NRF) is proposed. Looking to the worsening position of COVID and cases like denial of USA to supply the raw material of COVID Vaccines (and later on agreed to supply under their internal pressure of Industry and NRIs in USA) has now compelled India to focus on more and more Research and Development on Pharmaceutical Sector and Healthcare Sector as a whole become must for saving the Humanity. Although India is having a prominent presence in the International Pharmaceutical Market specially in the Generic Medicines with a 20% share in the Global Market by volume,ranking 3rd in the worldwide production by volume and 14th by value.The pharmaceuticals market in India is expected to grow at CAGR of ~16% and reach USD 55 billion by 2021-22. Additionally, by 2022, India will be amongst top ten pharma markets in terms of absolute size due to unique strengths of Indian pharma industry which is comprised of over 3,000 pharma companies, 10,500 manufacturing units, over 60,000 generic brands which exist across 60 therapeutic categories and vaccines that are exported to 150 countries.
However,in the present status the Research & Development in India of innovative drugs is very weak. One of the major reason is long gestation period and high cost factor. India is now having an opportunity to build on its strengths in the generics and move up in its value chain from simply a pharmaceutical manufacturer to enabling itself in innovation of new drug discovery. Innovative Drug Discovery and its product development is essential to bring into the market. One of the weakness of Indian R&D Ecosytem is that the entire pressure of R&D is on the shoulder of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry . There should be an essential collaborative reseach among the Industry,Academia and Government to work together for the R&D as a whole and R&D in Pharmaceuticals in general. Despite this critical importance of research, the research and innovation investment in India is, at the current time, only 0.69% of GDP as compared to 2.8% in the United States of America, 4.3% in Israel and 4.2% in South Korea ( As per NEP 2020 Report). To fill this gap the proposed National Research Foundation may play a very vital role by having a proper collaboration among the Government Research Fund Sanctioning Bodies like University Grants Commission (UGC), Academic & Research Institutions like Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Bio-Technology (DBT), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) , IIT, NIT, IIIT , IIMs and Prominent Central Universities etc. along with the prominent Pharmaceutical Research based Industries which are playing a significant role on the present situation of the COVID . In our entire education system also there should be sincere focus on the problem based researches whether it is PhD , Academic Projects or Research Papers Publications where more focus should be on the quality of research rather than the quantity of Researches .
Although as per the NEP 2000 the National Research Foundation Outlay to be Rs 50,000 crore, over 5 years. This is very essential to see whether the Fund is being productively utilized in the promotion of R&D specially in the Healthcare Sector which is the need of hour. For this a very strict audit is required in order to not waste the public money on the name of so called researches in the corrupt system. In addition to the government support , the pharmaceutical and allied education institutions should be encouraged to take the project based financial support from the Pharmaceutical Industry by winning their trust so that they may help them through the R&D. The Contract Research Organizations should be promoted to help the Pharmaceutical Industry in the MSME Sectors in the development of the Innovative Drugs and allied products. Intellectual Property Right is major issue for the Pharmaceutical Sector . In this regard the Government may help the Pharmaceutical Industry of India to take various dimensions of International IPR in the field of Patent,Design,Copyright,Trademark GI etc. by providing sufficient subsidy and its international networking.With the increasing population , vast potential , talented human resource and easily available other dimensions of resources India may play a vital role in the field on being a Pharmaceutical Hub with the help of Promotion of Triple Helix Model and changing the mindset of Pharmaceutical and allied sector students to be a research minded prospective researcher which is a need of hour in the current COVID situation and the forthcoming healthcare crisis, if any. Although Research and Development is a long term phenomenon the Government of India should come forward with a National Research and Development Policy to the set the R&D Priority of the nation in terms of the Public Healthcare.
Prof.(Dr.) Raj Kumar Singh
Professor , Dean (R&D) & HOD ( Deptt of Commerce)
Chairperson:Centre For Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Skill Development (CEISD)
School of Management Sciences, Varanasi
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