To strengthen the overall research ecosystem of the country, the Union Budget FY 2021-22 announced a slew of new initiatives to boost Innovation and R&D in the country . While presenting the Budget in Parliament today, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, proposed initiatives covering digital payments, space sector and deep ocean explorations.
National Research Foundation
The Finance Minister proposed an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore, spread over five years, for National Research Foundation. “It will ensure that the overall research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with focus on identified national-priority thrust areas”, she added.
Boost to digital payments
Smt. Sitharaman informed the house that there has been a manifold increase in digital payments in the recent past and there was a need to take steps to carry forward this momentum. Rs 1,500 crore has been proposed for a scheme that will provide financial incentive to promote digital modes of payment and further boost digital transactions.
National Language Translation Mission (NTLM)
A new initiative called National Language Translation Mission (NTLM) has been proposed that will digitise the wealth of governance-and-policy related knowledge on the Internet and be made available in major Indian languages.
Indias’ Space Sector
The Minister informed the house that New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSU under the Department of Space, will execute the PSLV-CS51 launch, carrying the Amazonia Satellite from Brazil, along with a few smaller Indian satellites. Four Indian astronauts are also being trained on Generic Space Flight aspects, in Russia for the Gaganyaan Mission, slated to be launched for December 2021.
Deep Ocean Mission
To better understand the realm of Oceans Smt. Sitharaman proposed to launch a Deep Ocean Mission with a budget outlay of more than Rs 4,000 crores, over five years. This Mission will cover deep ocean survey exploration and projects for the conservation of deep sea bio-diversity.