New Delhi: Finally, the government has answered the long pending demands of the scientific minds of the country. The science funds have been increased by 10 percent for 2017-18. To begin with, the Department of Biotechnology has got a major boost in the budget 2017. A budget of Rs 2222.11 crore has been allotted for 2017-18 as against Rs 1917 crore. This means a significant increase of nearly 22 percent over the current year.
While the ongoing initiatives of the DBT for supporting R&D, infrastructure and human resource will continue, there will be a special emphasis on launching mission programmes on harnessing the blue economy proposed as the Institute of Ocean Biology; accelerating discovery research for biopharma product development; Biotech KISAN for improved interventions for agriculture; startup innovation ecosystem; clean energy; collaboration with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI). Department will establish 3 new Biotech Clusters, Technology Transfer Offices, Bio Incubators, Bio-Connect Offices in line with the National Biotechnology Strategy.
The Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Science, Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed happiness for increased allocations for various departments relating to Science and Technology. Complimenting the Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley on presenting a ‘progressive looking Union Budget’, he said that increased allocations for science & technology are in line with the thinking of the Government to put science and technology to use for the welfare of the people.
Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that there has been nearly an increase of about 10 percent from Rs 33467 crore to Rs 37435 crore.
Similarly, budget allocations for various departments relating to Ministry of S&T have also been substantially increased. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been allocated Rs 4836 Cr as against Rs 4493 Cr in 2016-17. Initiatives for Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Waste Management Technology, Bio-Medical Devices and Science and Heritage Research Initiative, Programme on Electric Mobility to be initiated in collaboration with DHI, Technology Development Programme with RDSO and MHRD for Indian Railways, Collaborative and National Programme on Smart Grid and Energy Storage, Virtual Centers on Ultra Super Critical Technology for Clean Coal, Continuing support to the Programmes on Building Energy Efficiency, Thrust on R & D on Solar Equipment and Characterization Labs for Solar Equipment and Cells.
Redesigning the Inspire Award Scheme (renamed as Inspire-MANAK ) to address the idea creating potential of young children; proposing a Programme for girl child ( Vigyan Jyoti); strengthening the human resource development capacity in the Policy Research Cell of the Department.
The Department of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR) has got Rs 4446 Cr against Rs 4062 Cr in 2016-17. Support to Individual Innovators, Technology Developers and Demonstration Projects of Industry and Support to Common Research and Technology Development Hubs for MSMEs by DSIR. Support to National Lab Programme/Projects, Fast Track Translation Projects, S&T Intervention for Common People, Inter-Ministerial/Agency Projects, New Millenium Technology Leadership Initiative, International S&T collaboration, Technology Incubation Center, Technology Park, building up of a Technology Development Fund by CSIR.