Draft Scientific Social Responsibility Policy Released

Published: September 16, 2019

The draft Scientific Social Responsibility has been made available by the Department of Science and Technology for public comments.

Features of the Policy

  • The draft policy builds upon Scientific Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, Science and Technology Policy 2003 and Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 and proposes more pragmatic provisions to make institutions and individual scientists socially responsible.
  • The draft policy defines Scientific Social Responsibility as “the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity”.
  • The policy aims to harness the latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society, and for making S&T ecosystem vibrant.
  • The policy is aimed at developing a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.
  • The policy requires individual scientists or knowledge workers to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
  • The policy recognises the need to provide incentives for outreach activities with necessary budgetary support.
  • The policy proposes to give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
  • The policy proposes to set up a central agency at DST to implement the SSR. Also, other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.

If India goes on to implement the policy it would be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility to encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with the society.

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