Science ministries stare at low hike in India

science_thScience ministries in India, which consist of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the earth sciences ministry (MoES), are together slated to receive Rs. 12,771 crore for the next financial year (2017-18), which is only 6.2% more than Rs 12,024 crore.

This is a climbdown from the 10.25% and 22.2% raises that the science ministries got over their actual spends in 2016 and 2015, according to figures from previous Union Budget documents. The DST is expected to get a 7%, the DSIR a 5%, the DBT 10% and the MoES a 3% raise over their allocations last year, according to two officials in different science ministries. The actual spends for 2015 and 2016 could be revised when the Budget for next year is tabled in February.

The downgrade is starker when one considers the raises these departments have got in previous years. The science and technology department got a 32% raise in 2015-16 over 2014-15 and the earth sciences ministry had an 18% raise in the same period.