(12 Feb 2021) India’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and involvement in ‘vaccine diplomacy’ around the world has led to a significant boost in health spending and scientific research, announced in this year’s budget in the midst of the pandemic.
It also includes first-time funding for a proposed overarching research funding organisation which will change the way government research money is allocated.
The government has provided its first financial allocation to a new National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund research in universities. Some INR500 billion or US$6.9 billion over five years was announced in the budget this month by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for spending on “identified national priority areas”.
The autonomous foundation will fund science and social science research from this year although the structure of the new NRF has not yet been revealed.
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