Analysis of science, technology and innovation (STI) policies of India from 1958 to 2020

Vijay Kumar Sattiraju, Manthan D. Janodia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse innovation policies in India from 1958 to 2020. A policy tools framework was developed to compare the innovation policies in India. India developed and implemented four innovation policies from 1958 to 2013. The recent policy change was brought in the year 2020 with releasing the draft of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020). The authors analysed the recent draft of STIP 2020 with the earlier four innovation policies. Design/methodology/approach: Innovation policies implemented from 1958 to 2013 in India were studied and analysed in the “text as a data approach” and a comparative policy analysis tool was designed for this purpose. The recent draft of STIP 2020 was evaluated and the provisions of the fifth draft of STIP 2020 were compared with the previous four innovation policies' design and formulation. The CPA tool design consists of five broad themes Awareness and capacity building; Finance and infrastructure; Resource management and governance; Outreach and networking; and Policy implementation and evaluation. Findings: Draft STIP 2020 has many features similar to earlier policies. However, policy has focused on bringing in more clarity about national challenges, goals and objectives, yet it needs better implementation to achieve stated outcomes more effectively and efficiently. New initiatives include strengthening the innovation system with open science, improving STI education, expanding the financial landscape, establishing national STI observatory acting as a central repository of all data related to the STI ecosystem and accountable research ecosystem, promoting translational and foundational research of global standards, promoting entrepreneurship, self-reliance, mainstream science communication and public engagement and decentralised institutional mechanisms. Thus, the STIP 2020 is ambitious in its approach to promoting STI in India and needs a supportive mechanism to achieve the stated objectives. Research limitations/implications: Current comparative policy analysis focused only on identifying similarities and differences among innovation policies implemented in India from 1958 to 2020 and its evolutionary changes in policy and its instruments choice. The recent draft STIP 2020 is not approved and has no update regarding its approval and implementation by the government. The revised and yet to implement STIP 2020 may have variances in the policy instruments. The earlier policies are so broad and without specific problem statements. They were released as statements and resolutions which makes it is challenging to understand the impact of each policy. Similar policy tools in STI 2013 and STIP 2020 were only considered to observe the policy instrument choice. The achievements of the innovation policies implemented before STIP 2020 are not included. Evolutionary changes in the problem statements and policy tools prescribed in innovation policies are studied. Originality/value: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, released a draft of STIP in 2020. The draft of STIP was evaluated with previous Innovation Policies. To the authors’ understanding, this is the first attempt to evaluate the STIPs of India using the “text as a data” approach. The tool can be validated by using it for CPA of innovation policies of other emerging, developed and least developed economies to understand cross-country variations in policy instrument choice by policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Science and Technology Policy Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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