Budget 2020

A booster dose for science and tech

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on February 01, 2018 Published on February 01, 2018

Science and technology received a shot in the arm with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley increasing the outlay for research and development in the country by 7.5 per cent in Union Budget 2018-19.

The funds for agricultural, earth sciences and space research particularly saw an impressive double digit growth, pointing towards priorities set by the NDA government in its final Budget before the Lok Sabha polls next year.

Major science research agencies, including those in strategic areas, have been promised a total of ₹65,741 crore, which is 7.5 per cent more than the revised budgetary allocation of ₹61,192 crore in 2017-18.

While the Department of Atomic Energy was once again cornered the highest outlay of ₹21,518 crore, it included allocation for Nuclear Power Corporation India Ltd which manages several nuclear power plants across the country.

The Department of Space, on the other hand, witnessed the highest growth in allocation with its outlay going up by 17.7 per cent to ₹10,783 crore.

The government’s priority for the farm sector is also reflected in higher allocation for the Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE). The outlay for DARE went up 11.6 per cent to ₹7,800 crore as compared with ₹6,992 crore in the previous fiscal.

There is a proposed 12.5 per cent hike in the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, which recently received a nod for extension of its National Monsoon Mission.

Agencies supporting basic science research too were favourably considered with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) getting an 8.2-per-cent in budgetary outlay to ₹5,135 crore.

The DST would set aside ₹900 crore for supporting extramural research projects through Science Engineering Research Board and another ₹720 crore for supporting innovation and technology development and deployment. The funds would also support 90 research projects in yoga and meditation. The DST was allotted funds to create a new mission on cyber physical systems which would focus on research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication and internet of things.

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Published on February 01, 2018
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