Research and development budget of crucial institutions downsized

Budget for the country’s three scientific institutions was cut down by Rs 576 crore for the next fiscal year.

Published: 02nd February 2022 07:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2022 07:30 AM   |  A+A-

Lab, test, In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford samples from vaccine trials are handled inside the Oxford Vaccine Group laboratory.

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  There was a slash in funding for the country’s premier research and development institutions and laboratories that drove innovation, low-cost indigenous solutions, including genome sequencing, DNA and nasal vaccine, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Budget for the country’s three scientific institutions was cut down by Rs 576 crore for the next fiscal year.

Department of Biotechnology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Science & Technology are three key institutions under the ministry of science and technology. The Budget allocated Rs 14,217 crore for 2022-23. It was Rs 14,793 crore during FY 2021-22.

The biggest cut of `921 crore was taken by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) that has been conducting trials on DNA vaccine and nasal vaccine for Covid-19. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, a consortium of top scientific institutions sequencing genomes, also comes under DBT.

The budget for Biotech Research & Development, which comes under DBT, was slashed from Rs 1,660 crore to Rs 1,315 crore. Also, under the other scientific research subhead in the DBT, the budget allocation has been cut by Rs 828 crore, while the budget for industrial and entrepreneurship development was downsized by Rs 595 crore.

Calling it a ‘futuristic budget with scientific vision and start-up incentives’, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (independent charge) Science & Technology, said: “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India looks forward to a crucial decade ahead, which will primarily be determined by two factors — economy and science, technology and innovation.”

The budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) saw a minuscule jump of Rs 67 crore. The allocation under Research and Development in DST saw an increase of Rs 11 crore, while allocation for innovation, technology development and deployment has been reduced from Rs 951 crore in FY 2021-22 to Rs 812 crore in FY 2022-23.

About Rs 100 crore cut was taken by DST’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), which runs several schemes and supports research in frontier areas of science and engineering. The Board also gives special attention to young scientists below the age of 35 to undertake independent research in new areas. It also offers fellowships to scientists and engineers for their outstanding performances and Ramanujan fellowship to brilliant scientists from across the world to take up research positions in India.                                          
The Budget allocation for the C, which has a chain of national laboratories under it, saw an increase of Rs 412 crore.


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