The Endowment Unit was established in 1998. On evaluation of the activities of the Unit, the Planning Commission recognised the Unit as the one working on issues relating to technology and innovation in the Indian context. Presently the Chair Professor of the Unit is Professor Praveena Kodoth.
In the year 2019-20 Dr Sunil Mani, Professor & Director, was the Chair Professor. The unit completed a study on ‘History does matter, India’s efforts at developing a domestic mobile phone manufacturing industry,’ and ‘Performance of India’s National System of Innovation, 2015-2020,’ Sponsored by UNESCO, Paris.
Ongoing studies included a study on ‘The Saga of Indigenous R&D in India’s High Technology Industry The Case of Train 18’. The new initiative is a study on “Frugal innovations for dealing with pandemics, India’s innovation capability in digital technologies and in medical devices.”
Several publications in the form of one journal article, two papers in the centre’s Commentary on India’s Economy and Society Series along with one Working paper of the CDS were brought out. In addition to this, several workshops, public lectures, panel discussions and new projects were organised during the year. Two seminar papers including lectures were presented at the international level and 9 at the national level. The unit also contributed to the teaching and supervision at all the three academic programmes at the Centre.