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Vijaya Pushkarna
Vijaya Pushkarna

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Science ministries, depts jubilant over increased budget allocations

China World Climate [File] Dr Harsh Vardhan emphasised the importance of scientific social responsibility | PTI

Budget 2018-19 has made the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences more than happy.

According to Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, and Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the allocations have gone up hugely compared to last year's budget, as well as compared to the allocations for the previous five years.

Budget allocation for Department of Science and Technology during last 5 years was Rs 19764 crore, which is a whopping 90 per cent increase over the preceding 5 years (2009-10 to 2013-14). Similarly, there was an increase of 65 per cent for Department of Biotechnology; almost 43 per cent increase for Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; and 26 per cent increase for Ministry of Earth Sciences during the last 5 years.

The minister attributed the BJP government's commitment to science and technology as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's firm belief that technology can help solve people's problems that have hitherto defied solutions.

“Many solutions have emerged from these departments, and we are supporting startups and incubation efforts to ensure these reach the people,” said Vardhan, explaining how as part of their work in support of farmers result in 24 million farmers getting advance advisory on climate. “This will be increased to 50 million farmers, and it translates into Rs 50 crores in the country's GDP,” he said.

Vardhan gave a peep into the work of different departments, and stated that the prime minister wants all the facilities to be delivered over the phone. “That is why optical fibres have been laid in the remotest parts of the country.”

The ministry will soon launch a website to facilitate aggregation of expensive and high end machinery available in different institutions, labs and hospitals across the country, in order to optimise their usage.

He emphasised their commitment to scientific social responsibility, the scientists' equivalent of corporate social responsibility. For individuals, he said, the “green social responsibility” simply put, small steps which people everywhere should take to improve the environment and atmosphere around them.

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