Kochi, Sep 13 (IANS) Kerala should formulate a policy for science, technology and innovation and align it to the National Policy 2013, said union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Vayalar Ravi here Thursday.
The minister, who hails from Kerala, urged the state to accord greater priority to science and technology in its plans.
"I suggest that the state of Kerala formulate a policy for science and technology and innovation and align it to the National Policy 2013, which would be sent by the central government to the states for consultation. We expect good feedback from this state," Ravi said.
Ravi was speaking as he inaugurated the sectoral session on Science and Technology: Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Life Sciences at the three-day Emerging Kerala-2012-Global Connect, a conference for potential investors.
Ravi said his ministry would be very supportive of science, technology and innovation projects in Kerala.
Ravi said that in the modern world, science, technology and innovation were tools for gaining competitiveness.
Ravi said that nations are ranked on a Global Competitive Index which takes account of investment in research and development (R&D) as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and the number of full-time R&D professionals, among other criteria.
Expressing happiness that Kerala was the first state in the country to convene a meeting with all the science departments of India for developing a state-specific technology deployment plan, Ravi said he has advised his ministry to develop the technology plan for Kerala based on a comprehensive approach that would involve partnership in technology development and deployment between the state and the central government.
Ravi said Kerala was ideally suited for knowledge-intensive manufacturing, and added that it worked to the state's advantage that traditional knowledge systems were still well-preserved, especially in healthcare.
Bio-medical devices, instruments and technology were well developed in the state, Ravi said, adding that even the state's products like rubber and spices could have greater value addition with more focused research.
The minister expressed happiness that many students from the state were choosing to pursue higher education in the sciences by availing scholarships under the INSPIRE scheme of the union ministry for science and technology.
The minister also said that three universities in the state, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology and University of Kerala, were selected by the Department of Science and Technology for a grant of Rs.27 crore over a three-year period.