NEW DELHI: To promote growth of scientific research and attain self-reliance, the government plans to soon initiate a nation-wide consultation process to develop the first publicly accessible science and technology policy, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.

Speaking at the Infosys Prize 2015 function here, Mukherjee said the government has undertaken various measures for promoting scientific research such as increase in budget allocations for scientific departments, setting up of new institutions for science education and research and creation of centres of excellence from research among others.

“The central government plans to soon institute a nation -wide consultation process with a view to develop the first publicly accessible science and technology policy. The policy ‘Vision S&T 2020’ would articulate the country’s future towards technological independence and self-reliance in the 21st century,” Mukherjee said.

He added that India and Germany will soon begin a joint research in priority areas in health research and biomedical sciences.

“India is poised to become a major nuclear physics researcher. A project to build India’s largest underground laboratory for advanced research on the smallest particle known to man has recently been approved by the government,” he said.

Stating that technology has become an important enabler for critical services like financial inclusion and healthcare, Mukherjee said the country aspires to claim a position amongst the top five scientific powers.

“To ensure we continue to lead the world in terms of technology breakthroughs, we need to ensure that our youth has access to a supporting ecosystem, an education system that helps them hone their research acumen and a wide network of industry mentors,” he said.

Mukherjee said the country will focus on three types of scientific efforts — Blue Sky research dealing with developments in fundamental sciences; R&D for specific problems such as water, clean energy, waste processing and diseases; and areas where India can emerge as one of the leaders in the world.