Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 10: The Union Budget for 2023-24 has allocated a significant amount of ₹16,361.42 crore for the Ministry of Science & Technology. However, a closer look reveals that the allocation has increased by only 15% from the previous estimate, and the Ministry had seen a decrease of 3.9% between 2021-22 and 2022-23. Scientific institutions in the country may face limitations in their absorptive capacity in the absence of significant funding increases across departments, warns IMS Ghaziabad (University Courses Campus).
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) received a boost with an allocation of ₹7,931.05 crores. It went up 32.1% from the previous year. However, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) received a hike of 3.9% and 1.9%, respectively. This lack of significant funding raises across departments may hinder the country’s technological advancement and innovation capabilities.
IMS Ghaziabad (University Courses Campus) urges the government to prioritize research funding for technological advancement. While initiatives to scale up the technology to produce laboratory-made diamonds, develop dedicated centres of excellence for artificial intelligence research, and establish a research centre for sickle cell anemia are commendable, none of the budgetary allocations suggests a significant scale-up of basic research.
According to the Global Innovation Index, India spends only 0.7% of its GDP on research and development. The other developed and advanced countries spend over 2% of their GDP on R&D. As one of the world’s largest producers of scientific literature, India must increase the size of the funding pie and ease the procedures to make the most efficient use of it.
“Research and evolution play a key role in the country’s technological advancement and innovation capabilities. The government must increase funding for basic research to build the country’s scientific infrastructure and attract top talent,” said Dr. Arun Kumar Singh, Director of IMS Ghaziabad (University Courses Campus).
IMS Ghaziabad (University Courses Campus) emphasizes the importance of research funding for technological advancement and innovation capabilities. As research scholars not receiving promised funds on time, and the lack of quality equipment required by researchers hinder the academic potential of the country. A larger part of research continues to be funded by government authorities, and the participation of the private sector has grown only incrementally. Therefore, the government must focus on streamlining bureaucratic processes to ensure the utilization of research funds, build the country’s scientific infrastructure and attract top talent.
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