India budget 2020 for science
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India Budget 2020 For Science – 13% hike in overall budget allocation with biotechnology receiving the highest hike.

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the union budget for the year 2020-2021 on February 1. Science has given importance in the budget, with the major departments receiving 10% or more.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will receive Rs 2,786 crore this year, which is 17% more than that of last year’s Rs 2,381 crore. DBT is the department that gets the highest hike.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research got Rs 5,385 crore, which is 10% higher than last year’s expenditure while the Earth Sciences Ministry received a 14% hike at Rs 2,070 crore. The Department of Science and Technology is the department that received a second-highest hike in budget allocation of Rs 6,301 crore, which is 14% more than that of last year.

The science ministries received an overall 13% hike in the budget allocation, which is Rs 16,542 crores. The Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy received Rs 13,479 crore and Rs 18,228 crore, respectively, which is much more than that of the civilian science ministries.

In previous years, the percentage hikes in science departments were

in single digits. Its the first time in at least three years that the departments receive percentage hikes in double digits.

This year, the government has given significant encouragement to scientific endeavors, different from the last few years when the hikes revolved around 7%, said Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology.

The major sectors that received the hike are the genomics initiative to map India’s genetic landscape and the encouragement to set up knowledge transfer clusters. The genomics initiative to map the genes of Indians as well the genetic structure of every plant variety is essential for agriculture, next-generation medicine, and biodiversity management said Nirmala Sitharaman.

In the union budget 2020 of India, the finance minister also stressed on a research program ‘quantum-enabled science and technology’ (QuEST) which will be led by the Department of Science and Technology and the objectives will include demonstration and development of cryptography, quantum computers, quantum-enhanced and inspired technologies, quantum communication, algorithms and theories of quantum information systems, and advanced mathematical quantum techniques.