Experts highlighted the need for Centre-state cooperation, developing a researchers’ network at the state level and connecting them to the national level for a better science, technology and innovation ecosystem at the first post-draft consultation meeting of the 5th National STI Policy (STIP), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said on Friday.

At a virtual meeting held on Thursday, the experts also emphasised on establishing centres of excellence in technologically-backward areas and inter-institutional collaboration.

“Suggestions, feedback and comments that came up through this consultation have been quite insightful and will be taken forward in revising the draft STIP,” Akhilesh Gupta, the head of the STIP Secretariat, pointed out at the post-draft STIP consultation with representatives of the government, academia and industry from north India.

Gupta highlighted the recommendations of the STIP such as a national STI observatory as a central repository for all kinds of data related to and generated from the STI ecosystem, INDSTA — a dedicated portal to provide access to the outputs of all public-funded research — and “one nation, one subscription” for journals.

The draft STIP was put together by the STIP Secretariat with support from the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) and the DST.

The secretariat carried out an extensive consultation process involving more than 43,000 stakeholders in the country and abroad through over 300 rounds of discussions.

The STIP was released for public consultation on December 31, 2020. Since then, a number of post-draft consultations have been initiated to invite suggestions and recommendations.

A series of consultations is planned over the next two weeks, a statement issued by the DST said.

The vice-chancellor of Chandigarh’s Panjab University, Professor Raj Kumar, who presided over the event, stressed the need for revisiting and refocussing on priorities, taking into consideration the requirement of local people and connecting research and development with industry.

The representatives of the government, academia and industry came up with suggestions on aspects such as building data repositories, setting up of technology facilitation centres and so on.

The STIP Secretariat and the DST-Centre for Policy Research at Panjab University, Chandigarh, invited public feedback on the draft STIP document via email — india-stip@gov.in — by January 31.