The Institutional structure of India’s Science and Technology Organisations

Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Department of Science and Technology (DST) is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Science and Technology established in May 1971. DST was established for the promotion of new areas of Science and Technology where DST was to act as the nodal department for the organization, coordination, and promotion of Science and Technology activities in the country. DST gives financial support and funds to various scientific projects in India and supports Indian researchers to attend conferences held abroad. It supports open access to the scientific knowledge for the public funded research experiment works in India.

DST has the responsibility of formulation of Science and Technology policies, their implementation, identification, and promotion of research in different sectors of S&T. It acts as the nodal agency for international collaboration in Science and Technology with friendly countries and promotion of Science and Technology activities in India.


Mandate and responsibilities of DST

  • DST formulates the policies related to science and technology in India.

  • It looks after the matters related to the Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet (SAC-C).

  • It promotes Science and Technology through R&D in research institutions for the development of indigenous technologies related to biofuel production, processing, and coordination with concerned department or ministry etc.

  • Coordination and integration of various sectors of Science and Technology having cross-sectoral linkages with Institutions and departments having interest and capabilities.

  • Financial sponsorship of scientific and technological surveys, research design and development.

  • Grant in aid and financial support to research institutions, scientific bodies, and associations.

  • Issues which affects scientific and technological departments, Institutions and organizations.

  • Management information systems for S&T and it's coordination.

  • Matters related to domestic Technology especially promotion of ventures which involves commercialization of Technology other than those under the DSIR.

  • Steps required for the promotion of S&T and their application for the development and security of the country.

  • Promotion of S&T at the state, district and village levels through Science and Technology state councils etc.

  • The utilization of S&T for women, weaker sections, and socially disadvantaged sections of society.

  • Apart from these, it deals with all the matters related to Science and Engineering Research Council, National Council for Science and Technology Communication, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, National Innovation Foundation Ahmedabad etc.


Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

CSIR is among the top most R&D Organisation in India and among the world's largest publicly funded R&D organization which is known for its cutting-edge R&D endeavors in areas of Science and Technology. CSIR has a Pan-India presence with a dynamic network of laboratories, outreach centers, innovation complexes and units, along with scientists and technical personnel.


Vision and Mission

Its mission is to build a new CSIR for new India i.e. “the new CSIR that will fulfill the aspirations of modern India”.


CSIR’s Vision

Pursue science which strives for global impact, a technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurture transdisciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India. In the changed scenario of present times has inspired CSIR towards

  • Science and engineering leadership

  • Innovative technology solutions

  • Open Innovation and crowdsourcing

  • Nurturing talent in transdisciplinary areas

  • Science based entrepreneurship and

  • Socioeconomic transformation through Science and Technology intervention


Salient features of CSIR

  • CSIR covers various sectors of S&T such as radio and space physics, geophysics, oceanography, biotechnology, nanotechnology, drugs, chemicals, genomics, mining, aeronautics, environmental engineering, and information technology etc.

  • It gives technical advice and intervention in areas related to the environment, health, food, energy, drinking water, farm, and non-farm Sector etc. It has done considerable work in Science and Technology human resource development in the country.

  • CSIR is the pioneer of India's IPR movement and strengthens patent portfolio in select Technology domains. CSIR on average files around 200 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents every year.

  • Around 13.6% of CSIR patents are licensed which is above the global average. The scientific staff of CSIR constitutes 3.24% of India's scientific manpower but its contribution to India's scientific outputs is around 10%. In 2013, it published 5086 papers in SCI journals with an impact factor of 2.868 par paper.

  • CSIR has taken steps to boost entrepreneurship for enhancing the creation and commercialization of disruptive and radical innovations leading to the development of new economic sector was. It has brought CSIR@80: Vision and Strategy 2022- The new CSIR for new India.

  • CSIR ranks 84th among 4851 Global institutions and that is the only Indian organisation among the top 100 worldwide organisations. It ranks 17th in Asia and holds the first position in the country.


Some major milestones of CSIR

  • There are around 20 million AIDS patients worldwide and its only rescue is anti-HIV drugs cocktail. CSIR developed alternative and cheaper processes to manufacture these drugs and transferred its technology to CIPLA which ultimately reduced its price and helped AIDS victims in India and other third world countries.


Survey of India

The national survey and mapping organization of the country, Survey of India is the oldest scientific department under the Government of India set up in 1967. It has been assigned the role of India as principal mapping agency and has the special responsibility to ensure that India's domain is explored and mapped properly for providing basemaps for experience and integrated development.

  • It has prepared maps for the civilian and defence purposes and its maps are considered as a standard reference for the geographic features of the country.

  • It has mapped almost each and every part of the country and these maps have played an important and pivotal role in nation building and developmental activities.

  • It scrutinizes and certified the external boundaries of India and coastlines on maps produced by other agencies and private publishers.

  • It has the responsibility of surveying topographical, geophysical, geological features in India such as forests, army cantonments, large-scale cities etc.

  • It has the responsibility of demarcation of borders and external boundaries of India etc.

History of the Survey of India

The foundation of the survey of India was laid on 10th April 1802, with The Great Trigonometric Survey (GTS) by Col Lambton and Sir George Everest. The tapestry of unknown Indian terrain was surveyed by the surveyors and forerunners of the army of East India Company. In 1950, it was organized into 5 directorates to look after the mapping needs of defence forces in northwest and northeast. Presently there are 18 directorates in all the parts of the country for providing the basic map coverage needed for the development of the nation.

The technology used for serving has been oriented for fulfilling the new requirements of Defence forces, scientists, planners in the field of geosciences, land and resource management. During the late 80s, 3 digital centers were created to generate the digital typographical database for the entire country and the geographic information system was created.


Vision and Mission of the survey of India

  • The vision of Survey of India is to take a leadership role to provide user-focused, reliable cost-effective and quality geospatial data information and intelligence for fulfilling the requirements of national security, new information markets, and national development.

  • It is dedicated to the advancement of theory, practice, collection and the application of Geospatial data and for the promotion of an active exchange of information, technological innovations and ideas among the users and data producers at the highest possible resolution in near real-time environment at an affordable cost.


The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC)

SERC is an apex body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) which promotes R&D activities in newly emerging areas of Science and Engineering. It was established in 1978 and today it is composed of scientists and technologists drawn from different universities national laboratories, industries etc. SERC is assisted by the Program Advisory Committee (PACs) in different disciplines of Science and Engineering.


Objectives of SERC

  • Promotion of research in newly emerging areas of Science and Engineering in multidisciplinary fields.

  • Promotion of general resource capability in appropriate sectors of Science and Engineering.

  • To encourage R&D activities among the youth and young scientists.

  • To encourage scientists from relatively small and less endowed Universities and Institutions.


Activities and Functions of SERC

  • Providing project support in challenging areas to scientists and technologists.

  • To make unit and core group around an outstanding scientist.

  • To give SERC fellowships.

  • To setup research support facilities.

  • To conduct training programs for young scientists.

  • It provides funds for R&D activities to scientists and technologists working in the academic sector, national laboratories etc in identified areas.

The mandate of SERC includes supporting basic research excellence in Science and engineering, innovation, encourage industrial partnership and projects under Engineering and Technology, training of young scientist and manpower etc.


Technology development board

Technology development board (TDB) was established in 1996 by the government of India under the Technology Development Board act, 1995. It was constituted to promote the development and commercialization of indigenous technology and to ensure the smooth adaptation of technologies imported for wider application. It consists of 11 board members. TDB encourages Enterprises for taking up Technology oriented products.


Objectives and functions

  • It provides equity capital and loans to industrial concerns along with financial assistance to Institutions involved in the development and commercial application of indigenous technology or in the adaptation of technologies imported from abroad.

  • It has the responsibility to facilitate interaction between scientists, technocrats, and specialists.

  • It promotes innovation culture through contract and cooperation between industry and research institutions.

  • TDB provides an interface with scheduled commercial banks and financial Institutions forever leveraging funds.

  • It helps in the emergence of the new generation of entrepreneurs.

  • Its objectives include the promotion of innovative ideas from small enterprises even if it has the risk of failure.

  • Its target is to invest in core technological strength for enabling Indian industries to compete and become a global player.


Vision and Mission

  • The mission of TDB is to strengthen the technology development and commercialization in selected sectors by supporting the development of technology in industries with short, medium and long-term risk horizon.

  • Its priorities include increasing capital productivity through improved technological inputs in basic infrastructure such as transport housing, communication energy etc.

  • Providing technological support in export driving areas for quality improvement and value addition of exports.

  • Providing technical support to selected small-scale sectors which are dependent on high technology development.


National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)

NABL is a constituent board under the Quality Council of India established with the objective of providing the government and industry associations with a scheme for third-party assessment of quality and technical competence of the testing and calibration laboratories. It was established in 1988 as an autonomous body for providing accreditation services. Accreditation refers to third-party attestation by a conformity assessment body which conveys the final demonstration of its competence for carrying out specific conformity assessment tasks.


  • The vision of NABL is to be the world's leading accreditation body and to enhance the stakeholders confidence and its services.


  • To strengthen the accreditation system across the globe to provide high quality, value driven services, and foster APLAC/ILAC MRA, creating awareness among the stakeholders, pursuing organizational excellence, impanelling competent assessors and initiating new program supporting activities.

Salient features of NABL

  • NABL provides the laboratory aggregation services to the testing and calibration laboratories in accordance with ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 ‘General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories’ and ISO 15189: 2012 for medical laboratories. NABL provides these services in a non-discriminatory manner to all testing and calibration laboratories in India and abroad, regardless of the ownership, size, legal status and the degree of independence.

  • It complies with ISO/IEC 17011:2004 and the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) MR001. NABL has been provided signatory member status by APLAC and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) under the mutual recognition arrangements (MIS).

  • Users get access to the information about the accredited laboratories from the web-based directory of NABL accredited Laboratories.

  • NABL provides accreditation in various fields of Science and Engineering which include biological, electrical, mechanical, chemical fluid flow, non-destructive, radiological, thermal and forensics under testing facilities, and electrotechnical, mechanical, thermal, radiological fluid flow and optical under collaboration facilities.

  • It also provides accreditation for medical testing laboratories.

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