The Hindu Editorial Analysis, Schemes For Science And Tech In Union Budget 2023-24
What Is In Today’s The Hindu Editorial Analysis? In Today’s The Hindu Editorial Analysis, we will learn about Allocations For Science And Tech In Union Budget 2023-24.
Significance Of Union Budget 2023-24?
For Prelims: Union Budget is one of the most essential part of UPSC CSE preparation and it covers a huge portion of UPSC Prelims examination.
For Mains: Under UPSC Mains Syllabus, it shall cover GS Paper3: Growth & Development, Planning, Government Budgeting, Inclusive Growth, Government Policies & Interventions.
Union Budget 2023-24, Key Provisions
Context Of Today’s The Hindu Editorial Analysis
- In this year’s Union Budget 2023-24, the Ministry of Science & Technology has received an allocation of ₹16,361.42 crore which is an impressive 15% increase from the last year.
- This Year’s Budget Allocation for the Ministry of Science & Technology is 0.36 per cent of the overall Union Budget 2022-23.
Between 2021-22 and 2022-23, the Ministry of Science & Technology had seen a 3.9% decrease.
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Centre’s Immediate focus For Science & Tech
- Bulk of the hike in Union Budget 2023-24 has gone to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) — ₹7,931.05 crore, up 32.1% from last year.
- It is ₹2,683.86 crore for the Department of Biotechnology, or DBT (a nominal hike of 3.9%), and ₹5,746.51 crore (1.9%) for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
- The Deep Ocean mission — which includes among other components developing a deep-submersible vehicle — and the National Research Foundation have got substantially higher hikes than in previous years, a sign that they are the Centre’s immediate focus.
- ‘Artificial intelligence’: There were multiple references in the Budget speech for investing in dedicated centres for excellence in ‘Artificial intelligence’ research, initiatives to scale up technology to produce laboratory-made diamonds and a centre for research in sickle cell anaemia.
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What Is Allotted To National Research Foundation (NRF)?
- The Union Budget 2023-2034 has set aside Rs 2,000 crore for National Research Foundation (NRF).
- The finance minister announced an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over five years in Union Budget 2021-22 for it.
- NRF is an autonomous body under DST created to fund, coordinate, and promote research in the country.
- The NRF was set up to make science finding less bureaucratic.
- The overarching goal of the NRF, according to the budget document, is to seed, grow and promote research and development and foster a culture of innovation throughout Indian universities, colleges, and research institutions.
- In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the NRF Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council to formulate an action plan to build a strong research ecosystem in state colleges and universities.
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Did Budget 2023-24 Fulfill The Need Of Science And Tech Sector?
- While all of these efforts could be spread out across multiple arms of government, none of the budgetary allocations suggests a significant scale up of basic research.
- As with previous governments, this government too has not succeeded in increasing the percentage of spend on research and development to beyond 1% of GDP.
- While different countries define R&D spends variously, a rule of thumb suggests that developed and technologically advanced countries spend over 2% of their GDP on R&D, and India, according to a 2022 estimate by the Global Innovation Index, continues to hover around 0.7% despite being among the world’s largest producers of scientific literature.
What More Should Be Done?
- The latest allocations for NRF is an improvement. But the question of how the body will be governed and how a committee will be constituted remains. The mechanism has to be carved out.
- There is also another problem. The government talks about big schemes, but the follow-up is poor
- He worries that funding through NRF could be primarily channelled into certain preferred areas, such as lab-grown diamonds mentioned in the speech.
- In the next few years, the government must not only increase the size of the funding pie but also ease the procedures to make the most efficient use of it.