Union Budget 2021-22 For Science, Technology & Health
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister presented the Union Budget for the year 2021-22 on February 1 at 11 am. While presenting she stated that the budget schemes for this year are based on six pillars which are depicted in the diagram below.
During her speech, she mentioned that the COVID-19 outbreak is the beginning of a new epoch wherein India is viewed as a place of new hopes. She further added that this financial year’s budget was prepared in a distinct manner with regard to the catastrophe due to the coronavirus pandemic. This article sums up the Union Budget 2021-22 For Science and Health.
I. Health & Wellbeing
Taking a comprehensive view towards health, Sitharaman pointed that the targeting areas are wellbeing, curative and preventive. The budget presented for health & wellbeing is ₹ 2,23,846 crores for the financial year 2021-22.
|Sub-Categories||Mission||Fund (₹ in crores)|
|Nutrition||Mission Poshan 2.0|
|Water Supply||Jal Jeevan Mission||2,87,000|
|Swachch Bharat, Swasth Bharat||Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0||1,41,678|
|Clean Air||To tackle air pollution||2,217|
|COVID-19 Vaccine: 35,000|
- Health systems
Sitharaman addressed that ₹ 64,180 crores will be provided for India’s new health initiative, Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana for 6 years. With this program, the main objectives are to develop primary, secondary, and tertiary health systems all around the nation as well as solidify the prevailing national establishments and build new ones in order to enhance detection and treatment of novel and emerging illnesses. This program is proposed along with the National Health Mission.
Under health systems, the proposed tasks are:
- Establishment of 4 national institutions for virology and 1 for one health, 9 bio-safety level III labs, and 1 regional research base for WHO South-East Asia part
- Establishment of 2 mobile hospitals and 15 health emergency operation facilities
- Enhancement of 7 land crossings, 11 seaports, 32 airports, 33 existing public health unit at entrance points, and initiation of 17 new public health units
- Enlargement of integrated health information portal to all UTs or States to link all public health labs
- Boosting of 20 metropolitan health surveillance systems and 5 regional branches under NCDC (National Centre for Disease Control)
- Setting up 12 central and 602 district institutions in critical care hospital sections
- Establishment of 3382 block public health systems in 11 states and integrated public health laboratories in all districts
- Backing 11,024 urban and 17,788 rural wellness and health centers
Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned that the government of India will be integrating Poshan Abhiyan and Supplementary Nutrition Programme to start Mission Poshan 2.0. This mission intends to boost the outreach, delivery, and nutritional content of the food.
- Water Supply
Universal supply of water within all 4,378 urban local bodies having 2.86 household taps and liquid waste management of 500 AMRUT cities are the objectives of Jal Jeevan Mission, launched for the wellbeing of humans. The budget is ₹ 2,87,000 crores for 5 years or more.
- Swachch Bharat, Swasth Bharat
For more cleanliness, the focus has to be steered on bioremediation of every legacy dumpsite, lowering air pollution by properly handling demolition & construction wastes, lowering the single-use plastic production and usage, source separation of litter, wastewater treatment, and complete fecal sludge management. In order to achieve this, the Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will be introduced with a fund of ₹ 1,41,678 crores for 5 years or more.
- Clean Air
To address the soaring concerns of air pollution, she proposed to offer a fund of ₹ 2,217 crores for 42 urban units with over a million population count.
For COVID-19 Vaccines, an amount of ₹ 35,000 crores has been allocated for 2021-22 and she stated that she is ready to offer more if needed for this cause. This amount will be utilized for the distribution and development of vaccines. The indigenous vaccine for pneumococcal infections is currently confined to just 5 states. This vaccine will be distributed throughout the nation to reduce infant mortality rates.
Sitharaman claimed that two new vaccines for COVID-19 will be declared soon. Presently, India has approved restricted emergency usage of Covaxin and Covishield. She also highlighted that India now has achieved reduced mortality rates and active cases with the vaccine drive, the world’s largest inoculation program, as described by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A similar drive has been conducted only in China and the US.
II. Physical & Financial Capital And Infrastructure
In November 2020, Prime Minister mentioned plans to start an extensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission, which will be launched in 2021-22 for producing hydrogen from ecofriendly sources.
III. Innovation and R&D
This year’s National Research Foundation (NRF) will be provided a fund of ₹ 50,000 crores for 5 years or more. NRF is an umbrella body that is anticipated to support research in a huge array of sectors ranging from science & technology to humanities. This platform will assure the strengthening of the entire research ecosystem of the nation with a concentration on detected national-priority thrust sections.
Functions of NRF are given below:
- Implement and establish research facility at colleges and universities via a formal mentoring mechanism
- Trigger exploratory research activities at colleges & universities
- Establish infrastructures for carrying out research via an institutionalized mentoring manner with adept scientists from esteemed organizations within the nation
Nirmala Sitharaman proclaimed that since our marine systems are a reservoir of abiotic and biotic resources, which is still undiscovered, a Deep Ocean Mission will be launched with a fund of over ₹ 4,000 crores for 5 years or more. This mission will fulfill projects for deep-sea biodiversity conservation and deep ocean survey studies.
Union Budget 2021-22 For Science