Finance Ministry Asks Ministries, PSUs To Furnish Data On Funds Spent On Research And DevelopmentThe Finance Ministry (Representative Image) (Mint via Getty Images)

The Finance Ministry has asked ministries and departments to furnish data on funds spent by them and their autonomous bodies as well as PSUs on research and development (R&D) after Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council pointed out gaps between such expenditure not commensurating with growth of GDP.

The ministry is referring to a report by PMEAC titled 'R&D Expenditure Ecosystems-current station and way Forward' wherein a need has been felt in growth of R&D expenditure commensurate with growth of GDP, the Finance Ministry said in an office Circular sent to other ministries.

All ministries /departments are therefore requested to feed data on their R&D expenditure which reflect the quantum of public expenditure earmarked for research & development whether appearing in an umbrella scheme or a scheme or a sub-scheme or as a component, provisions set apart for attached/subordinate offices, autonomous bodies including societies and boards who are engaged in R&D", the ministry office memorandum said.

The need to report R&D by departments came to notice after the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council in a report titled 'R&D Expenditure Ecosystems-current station and way Forward' reported that the growth of R&D expenditure commensurate with the growth in GDP, the memorandum said.

The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor has been tasked to be a repertory of R&D data of the government and analysis & monitoring . The Budget division of the ministry is collecting data to provide to the PSA along with Budget data.

Almost all departments have R&D funds allocated from Budget. In the Department of Telecom (DoT), Rs 325 crore was allocated for the current fiscal for "promotion of Innovation and Incubation of Future Technologies for telecom sector" which was up from Rs 230 crore last fiscal.

C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) an autonomous body under DoT, was allotted Rs 273 crore for itself in FY 2019. But now DoT will have to report how much of it is being spent on R&D on C-DoT or any other R&D activities under the ministry.

In case of Environment Ministry, it will have to give R&D funding data by its autonomous bodies like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Indian Plywood Industries Research & Training Institute, R&D for conservation and management among others.

Likewise, in case of Ministry of Earth Sciences, there are several central sector schemes and projects like Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-STORMS), Ocean services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)and Research, Education and Training Outreach (REACHOUT).

All these schemes have their budgetary allocations and now they have to show much of it has been spent on R&D.

Other ministries likewise will have to post their R&D funds on such agency, PSUs and bodies to the finance ministry.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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