2012/01/31

Nuevo impulso a la Innovación Inclusiva en la India

Reproducimos abajo una reciente nota publicada en The Guardian sobre Innovación Inclusiva en la India. De manera notable, la denominación “Innovación Inclusiva” continúa ganando espacio en la agenda de desarrollo internacional. En la India, sin embargo, la relación entre movimientos sociales y tecnologías para la inclusión social es bastante extensa y se remonta a las ideas de M. Gandhi. El mismo F. Schumacher tomó su experiencia en la India como inspiración para la escritura de Lo pequeño es Hermoso.

Más recientemente, la Honey Bee Network creada por A. Gupta han crecido en prestigio y alcance, adquiriendo un fuerte apoyo del estado (a partir de la Fundación Nacional de Innovación, dependiente del Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología del gobierno Indio) y de otras organizaciones civiles.

En este sentido, las noticias acerca de un nuevo plan de ciencia y tecnología enfocado a la innovación inclusiva -tal como cita la nota de The Guardian- no resulta completamente sorprendente. Asimismo, es interesante notar el lugar central que la agenda de innovación inclusiva ocupó en el Congreso de Ciencia Indio y que sea el primer ministro de la India, Manmohan Singh, quién resalte la necesidad que la ciencia se aboque a los problemas más desafiantes de la pobreza y no sólo a los problemas de la población privilegiada.

Sin embargo, a pesar de la tradición de movimientos de innovación de base y la importancia que actualmente el estado otorga a la innovación inclusiva, no parece sencillo redireccionar la política de ciencia y tecnología. Tal como afirma nuestro colega Dinesh Abrol (National Institute of Science, Technology and
Development Studies), sin una clara directiva para cambiar las prácticas científicas actuales, es improbable que los científicos se aboquen a desarrollar proyectos que protejan e impulsen los recursos de la población local.

¿Podrá el gobierno Indio vencer la inercia de la cultura de la innovación mainstream y elaborar nuevas prácticas de tecnologías para la inclusión social?

Tanto por su peso histórico como por la variedad de iniciativas recientes, es sumamente relevante aprender de las experiencias de innovación e inclusión social en la India. Seguiremos profundizando sobre este tema en los próximos meses.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says India's science policy should support 'faster, sustainable and inclusive development'

India will press science and technology into serving a national policy of more inclusive, sustainable and rapid growth for its people.

Addressing the 99th Indian Science Congress, the country's largest annual gathering of scientists, this week, the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, said the occasion demanded looking anew at the role of science in a country "grappling with the challenges of poverty and development". (Continúa >>)

Singh emphasised that "the overriding objective of a comprehensive and well-considered policy for science, technology and innovation should be to support the national objective of faster, sustainable and inclusive development".

India's scientific output should be relevant to its stage of development, Singh said. "It is said that science is often preoccupied with problems of the rich, ignoring the enormous and in many ways more challenging problems of the poor and the underprivileged."

Singh also underscored the need to use innovations creatively for social benefit, and "give practical meaning to innovation so that it does not end up being just a buzzword".

India's National Innovation Council plans to set up an India inclusive innovation fund that will catalyse entrepreneurship to target solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid.

India's science minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, announced that the country would soon release a science policy that addressed the national priority for inclusive and sustained growth. "We must present [a] paradigm shift in our mindsets from developing 'policy for science' to developing 'science policy for people'," he said.

Singh spelt out six key science and technology objectives of India's 12th five-year plan (2012-17), which include achieving "greater alignment of the science and technology sector with the inclusive development needs of our nation".

Other objectives include ensuring a major hike in research and development; creation of a new innovative system; expanding basic science infrastructure; encouraging greater research collaboration between universities and national institutes; and expanding the reach of international collaboration.

"Innovation can fulfil needs which are not met by conventional means, and this is critical in view of the numerous challenges the country is facing in delivering services to the people, especially at the bottom of the national pyramid," the plan says. "Innovations in India hence need to cast a wider net to benefit more and more people who are currently marginalised by the system."

Dinesh Abrol, senior scientist at the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, said India had traditionally spent a meagre 1% or 2% of its science budget on programmes directed at it weaker sections, which dwindled further after the country embarked on market-oriented, economic reforms in the 1990s.

"Inclusive growth will remain lip-service, unless the Indian government gives clear and correct directions to the scientific community to adopt development pathways that protect local resources, local communities and local markets," he said.

*Publicado en The Guardian, 4 de enero de 2012.
Para ver la nota original hacer click aquí

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