The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (PSA's Office) was set-up in November, 1999 by the Cabinet Secretariat, primarily, to:
- Evolve polices, strategies and missions for the generation of innovations and support systems for multiple applications,
- Generate science and technology tasks in critical infrastructure, economic and social sectors in partnership with Government departments, institutions and industry, and
- Function as the Secretariat to the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, with the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India as its Chairman.
The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (PSA) has a multi-departmental role. The scientific business of the government has been divided into many scientific departments, with each department having its well-defined area. There are S&T challenges and subjects that go beyond the individual scientific departments. These are the areas of interest and concern to this Office. Quite often, the challenge could be of security or strategic importance to the country. The tasks of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (PSA's Office), therefore involve creation of missions and also undertake multi-departmental, multi-institutionalprojects in strategic, technology and other areas of economic/ social relevance.
To address S&T challenges of national importance, Office of PSA draws critical inputs and suggestions from a large cross section of expertise, comprising science and technology experts, policy makers, management and financial experts from a variety of stakeholders including government departments, academia, industry, non-governmental organizations and individual domain experts. The inputs are drawn through formal means of structured brain-storming sessions involving relevant experts drawn from all over India, and then prepare discussion papers and roadmaps and reports. The roadmaps and reports in turn may recommend the need for a mission mode programme or a new scheme for the government to implement. Such mission mode programmes and schemes are subsequently taken up for implementation by the concerned line ministries, individually or jointly.
As academia-industry interactions are critical to address many S&T needs of the country, to enhance academia-industry interactions, Core Advisory Groups (CAGs) have been established, and sustained, for pre-competitive applied research in these technology sectors and the CAGs have already made significant impact.