Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features of the draft policy.
For Mains: Need for and significance of the policy.
Context: Centre is in advanced stages of preparing a policy on implementing scientific social responsibility (SSR). The draft has already been released.
About SSR Policy:
India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A draft of the new policy was recently made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- 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.
- To harness latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society, and for making S&T ecosystem vibrant.
- To develop a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.
Highlights of the Draft:
- Under the proposed policy, individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
- It also recognises the need to provide incentives for outreach activitieswith necessary budgetary support.
- It has also been proposed to give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
- No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.
- The draft defines SSR 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”.
- A central agency will be established at DST to implement the SSR. Other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.
Need for SSR:
When most research is being done by using taxpayers’ money, the scientific establishment has an ethical obligation of “giving back” to the society. SSR is not only about scientific impact upon society but also about the social impact upon science. SSR would therefore strengthen the knowledge ecosystem and bring efficiencies in harnessing science for the benefit of society.
Sources: the Hindu.