This UNU MERIT report by Shyama Ramani and others captures India's tryst with catching up. India tried but not succeeded in semi conductors or MEMS. Nanotechnology is more broad based, we may succeed in some areas, as the report says.
study shows that both upstream scientific and technological capabilities and downstream regulatory capabilities are being strengthened. India has clearly made a dent in terms of scientific publications (with the main focus being on nanomaterials), in the 'technology market' its patenting performance (with the principle focus on nanopolymers and nanocatalysts) though not extraordinary is good compared to other emerging economies spending similar amounts. In the 'final products' market some biotech and ICT incumbents are moving towards nano but the bulk of the new firms are in the field of nanomaterials. These achievements are particularly noteworthy given the much smaller quantity of funds invested by the Indian State as compared to the international leaders in nanotechnology.