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.
In discharging the above duties, the PSA’s Office has been actively promoting the implementation of synergy projects in various science and technology areas. Typically, the interventions by the PSA’s Office are made in the following distinct scenarios:
- Policy and strategy initiatives;
- R&D activities that do not fall into the business of any single department;
- R&D activities that involve many departments and need to be synergized;
- Areas in which there are significant S&T gaps; and
- Areas in which innovation possibilities are bright for deriving economic value or societal benefit from knowledge generated by research.
The Office endeavors to bring in synergy among the various scientific departments and other ministries in creating an enabling S&T eco-system that encourages innovations across disciplines. It encourages R&D projects in `advanced high-quality basic research’, and `directed basic research’, as also ‘pre-competitive applied research’ through academia-industry interactions. The development of specific projects, usually in partnership with other departments, revolves around this basic philosophy.
Thus the ‘synergy projects’ of the office are focused to achieve the objectives –
- Evidence-based studies for policy and strategy initiatives;
- Development and pilot project efforts that can nucleate or catalyse multi-disciplinary projects or help in networking institutions with common goals;
- For enhancing national competitiveness; and
- National security-related technologies.
These projects are in consonance with national S&T priorities. The projects undertaken by this Office relate to the energy sector, water, automotive, machine tools, electronic hardware, photonics, medical devices, science initiatives in Ayurveda, and rural technologies, etc.