The Ministry of Science and Technology (S&T) has been allocated Rs 14,793.66 crore in the budget 2021-22, a 20 percent increase from the current fiscal. The Ministry of S&T has three departments — The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology, and The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). All these departments played a key role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
In the budget 2021-22, the DST has been earmarked Rs 6,067.39 crore, while the DBT has been given Rs 3,502.37 crore, and the DSIR Rs 5,224.27 crore. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been allocated Rs 1,897.13 crore, separately.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced the launch of a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ in her budget speech. “Our oceans are a storehouse of living and non-living resources. To better understand this realm, we will launch a Deep Ocean Mission with a budget outlay of more than Rs 4,000 crore over five years. This mission will cover deep ocean survey exploration and projects for the conservation of deep-sea biodiversity,” she said.
A budget of ₹50,000 crore has been allocated over five years for the creation of a National Research Foundation (NRF). This organisation will act as an umbrella body that is expected to fund research across a range of disciplines, from science and technology to humanities.
Aside from this, there is a substantial increase in investment in Health Infrastructure and the Budget outlay for Health and Well-being is Rs 2,23,846 crore in 2021-22 as against this year’s Rs 94,452 crore, an increase of 137 percent. The Finance Minister announced a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, to be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64, 180 crore over 6 years. This will develop capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care Health Systems, strengthen existing national institutions and create new institutions to cater to the detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. (India Science Wire)