New Delhi: The allocation of Rs 2,000 crore in the Union Budget for the proposed National Research Foundation, a new funding agency to enhance India’s research capacity, has raised hopes in various quarters for it to take wings soon. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the allocation of the National Research Foundation (NRF) as a component of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and not as an agency independent of the government.
However, government officials pointed out that allocations for the NRF were earmarked in the DST’s outlay as the funding agency was yet to get approval from the Union Cabinet. DST Secretary Srivari Chandrasekhar told PTI, “This is a new scheme of the government to fund cutting-edge science, especially for the state’s universities.”
He said that it was expected that the Union Cabinet would soon approve the proposal for setting up of the NRF. Chandrasekhar said that the initiative to set up the NRF was driven by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the government and was also part of the National Education Policy. The Ministry of Science and Technology got an allocation of Rs 16,361.42 crore in the Union Budget, of which DST got Rs 7,931.05 crore.
“This includes the provision of NRF to meet the urgent need for a professional and comprehensive research framework that channelizes human and material resources towards conducting well-coordinated research across disciplines and across all types of institutions,” said an official. directs.” He said that the overarching goal of NRF would be to promote, develop research and development as well as foster a culture of research and innovation in Indian universities, colleges and research institutes.
Besides DST, the Ministry of Science and Technology includes the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which have received Rs 2,683.86 crore and Rs 5,746.51 crore, respectively. Prime Minister Narendra Modi first raised the NRF in his address to the Indian Science Congress in January 2019 and was mentioned in the Union Budget that year.
In 2021, the finance minister proposed an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over a period of five years for the NRF. India has 255 researchers per million, which is much lower than the US’s 4,245 researchers per million, South Korea (7,498), the UK (4,341) and Japan (5,304).
(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Except for the headline, no edits have been made to the copy by ABP Live.)
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