News FocusQ&A: Manmohan Singh

India's Scholar-Prime Minister Aims for Inclusive Development

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Science  24 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6071, pp. 907-908
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6071.907

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed last month to more than double the nation's R&D spending to $8 billion a year by 2017. Since taking office in May 2004, Singh has launched initiatives to entice overseas scientists to return home, create elite universities, and establish a grants agency modeled after the U.S. National Science Foundation (see p. 891). But the largesse announced at the Indian Science Congress comes with a sobering assessment. "Over the past few decades, India's relative position in the world of science had been declining, and we have been overtaken by countries like China," Singh declared. In an exclusive interview with Science, Singh reiterated that concern, observing that "China is in many ways far ahead of India."