HomeEconomyFinance Minister's Budget Unveils Landmark Scheme for Scientific Research Advancement

Finance Minister’s Budget Unveils Landmark Scheme for Scientific Research Advancement

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent budget announcement has sparked enthusiasm within India’s scientific community with the unveiling of a visionary scheme aimed at catalyzing long-term funding for research endeavors. The scheme, introduced in the interim budget ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, signals a significant stride towards bolstering scientific innovation and technological advancement in the nation.

Describing the initiative as a “much-needed and very welcome announcement,” Dr. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, hailed the move as pivotal for nurturing deep-tech startups and fostering a robust science, technology, and innovation ecosystem. Emphasizing the crucial role of patient capital in facilitating the success of such ventures, Dr. Karandikar expressed optimism about India’s trajectory towards becoming a developed nation by 2047, underpinned by a strong foundation of science and technology.

However, details regarding the anchor of this new corpus remain undisclosed, leaving room for speculation and anticipation within the scientific community.

Under the subhead ‘Research and Innovation for catalyzing growth, employment and development,’ Sitharaman underscored the importance of innovation in driving progress, drawing parallels to the visionary slogans of past leaders. The corpus, amounting to ₹1 lakh crore, is set to be established through a 50-year interest-free loan, offering long-term financing or refinancing with favorable interest rates. This strategic move aims to incentivize the private sector to scale up research and innovation efforts, particularly in burgeoning domains.

Echoing Sitharaman’s sentiments, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, lauded the government’s commitment to leveraging science and technology for national development. Singh highlighted the transformative potential of the announced corpus, alongside forthcoming schemes tailored to promote innovation in defense and biotechnology sectors.

The budget announcement comes on the heels of significant institutional reforms in India’s scientific landscape, including the establishment of the Anusandhan National Research Foundation. With a projected outlay of ₹50,000 crore, the foundation aims to provide strategic direction to scientific research, aligning with the objectives outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP).

Union Science Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasized the pivotal role of the foundation in shaping India’s scientific trajectory and propelling the nation towards global leadership in research and development.

As India charts its course towards scientific excellence, the budgetary allocations and institutional reforms signal a paradigm shift towards a future defined by innovation, collaboration, and transformative progress.

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