Emerging technologies in India: developments, debates and silences about nanotechnology

K. Beumer*, S. Bhattacharya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the last decade nanotechnology entered the policy arena as a technology that is simultaneously promising and threatening, and with a similar Janus-like face, nanotechnology entered the development agenda. How does a developing country like India deal with nanotechnology? Combining a quantitative and qualitative approach, this paper outlines the developments, discussions, and silences concerning nanotechnology in India. The nanotechnology landscape in India is dominated by government initiatives. Government investments led to a steady rise in global publication rankings, scientific collaborations and the number of institutions involved. This growth is mainly rooted in fundamental research and public research institutes. Industry involvement and patenting activity are at a nascent stage and developing slowly. Issues that were raised in the Indian context relate to funding, capacity, commercialization, regulation of risks, and the distribution of benefits. Nanotechnology is positively viewed across the board, with notable silences on ethical issues and the relation to the public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628–643
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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