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|January 14, 1998
World Bank to not fund tech projects in IndiaThe World Bank is unlikely to provide assistance to India for technology development projects in the near future.
"Technology development does not come in the bank's priority list of lending in India. So funding in this area is not likely to be forthcoming in the near future," Melvin Goldman, senior technology development specialist of the bank, said.
Under the programme, a conditional loan of $65 million, spread over 35 years, was allotted for the 'Sponsored Research and Development' project, aimed at enabling 25 premier technology institutes to develop technology for the Indian industry and become self-generating.
"The programme has achieved 85 per cent success with commendable performance of institutes like CSIR laboratories, Sri Ram Institute of Industrial Research and the National Chemical Laboratory," Goldman said.
He attributed part of the programme's success to ICICI which he said was "one of the best development banks in the world" and added that the success of the project had enabled ICICI to repay a part of the $65 million loan before the project could achieve completion.
Goldman, who has led the World Bank's efforts in industrial technology development in Asia for the past decade said "this suggests that the institutes have got the necessary base, and the bank can now focus on other basic issues like poverty, education and, more importantly infrastructure."
However, a bank study on these institutes shows that they have been more successful in developing new products and processes than in achieving financial independence.
Eleven institutes have turned out new products and nine have established sophisticated facilities but only one is financially independent.
Stating that not all institutes can become self-generating in such a short time, he said development of venture capital, another component of the programme, will take care of the financial needs of these institutes.
The project has financed development of six venture capital companies. These include Pathfinder, TDICI, Gujarat Venture Finance Limited and AP Venture Capital Corporation.
However, "India is yet to tap non-residents, its most potent source of research funds," Goldman said.
"If properly targeted, the world's most talented and resourceful non-residents can make India a powerhouse in the next 20 years," he added.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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