Karnataka launches engineering research and development policy
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The Karnataka government on Tuesday launched the ‘Karnataka Engineering Research & Development (Engineering R&D) Policy 2021’ as a measure to leverage the sector’s potential, create jobs and improve the state’s contribution in the space through strategic interventions and bridging the gap between academia and industry. Bengaluru accounts for 34% of all the multinational corporations (MNC) in the country and nearly 50% of the fortune 500 companies have a presence in India’s IT capital.
“The ER&D sector in the country is the fastest growing industry with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8%. Meanwhile, the global Engineering Research and Development industry is expected to reach spending of $2 trillion by 2025. Considering this scenario, this policy aims to prepare the state to make use of the future opportunities emanating from this sector,” said CN Ashwatha Narayana, Karnataka’s deputy chief minister and in-charge of IT/BT, science and technology portfolios.
The launch of the policy comes at a time when the BS Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has been unable to announce any mass-based schemes in the state due to the severe fund-crunch on account of revenue shortfalls from the Centre. The new policy envisages creation of an additional 50,000 jobs.
“(The) Government of Karnataka seeks to integrate the state’s Engineering R&D ecosystem and further strengthen its overall value proposition, to champion India’s Engineering R&D growth trajectory.” according to the policy document.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys and chairman of Karnataka’s vision group on IT, said that Karnataka’s journey in research and development began in the early 1980s when Texas Instruments set up an office in what would eventually become India’s IT capital. “This is what started the IT revolution, R&D, remote software development,” he said.
Around 1.6 lakh students were allotted engineering ranks in Karnataka, according to government data. There are at least 222 engineering colleges in the state, including 1,176 private institutions, 265 polytechnics and 12 junior technical schools, according to government data.
But a significant number of students are not employable due to several reasons, including ineffective communication and technical skills, access to large companies. Gopalakrishnan said that such a policy would help bridge the gap between engineering talent and the industry.
The policy will also support industrial application of academic research, spend ₹10,000 per student on training and certification as provide grants to universities to set up laboratories.