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Let’s Create Budgetary Literacy, Confluence.

Gadagkar, R Let’s Create Budgetary Literacy, Confluence. UNSPECIFIED.

Gadagkar 2018-Confluence.pdf - Published Version

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Ignorance and illiteracy about the budget can legitimately be interpreted by the Government as indifference. Most scientists in India working in Universities and specialized research institutes have to apply for extra-mural funding for their research. And they usually do so by applying to government agencies such as DST, SERB, DBT, CSIR, DAE, ICAR, ICMR and a few others. This is because more than half of India’s R&D budget comes from the Government. The quantum and pattern of allocation of money for R&D is announced promptly every year in the Finance Minister’s budget speech in Parliament in the month of February. A great deal of information about the quantum of money and its distribution to different departments and different major projects, new and old, is given in that speech. And yet the majority of working scientists in India are strikingly ignorant and illiterate about the contents of the Finance Minister’s speech. What is this year’s allocation to science as a function of the GDP, how much for DST and for DBT and what about ICMR? How much for major new schemes and how much might be left for small individual projects? How do these numbers compare with the previous year and the year before, and with those of the previous Government? Most scientists, whose careers depend on successfully accessing research funding from Government departments, rarely have any detailed knowledge of these simple facts. Yet they are all seriously concerned about whether their own projects will be funded and they participate in endless debates and discussions about why their projects are not funded and even about why some others’ projects are funded. Such profound near-sightedness does not befit the scientific community. Besides, ignorance and illiteracy can legitimately be interpreted by the Government as indifference.

Item Type: Other
Keywords: Research funding, Government departments, Ignorance and literacy
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2021 07:27
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 11:57
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68392

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