Budget 2023: Science and Technology Boosted, Space Allocation Divided

The budget of the space ministry, led by ISRO chief S Somnath, was cut by Rs 1,100 crore from the previous fiscal.

India Today

New Delhi,renew: February 1, 2023 at 1:41 PM IST

science budget

The Space Department’s budget is down from the previous year. (Photo: ISRO)

In India Today Web Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs 16,361 crore for the Ministry of Science and Technology in the 2023-24 budget tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. The allocation is Rs 2,000 crore more than what the ministry received in the last budget.

The new figures were released by the Treasury Department as part of budget estimates for the new financial year. The ministry has received Rs 14,217.46 crore for the financial year 2022-23. The surge in funding to the ministry comes on the back of several major initiatives, including the establishment of a new Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.

Allocations are assigned to three divisions of the Ministry: Division of Science and Technology, Division of Biotechnology, and Division of Scientific and Industrial Research. Sitharaman allocated Rs 7931.05 to the Ministry of Science and Technology while Rs 2683.86 was allocated to the Ministry of Biotechnology. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Industrial Research got Rs 5,746.51 crore.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Budget in Parliament on Wednesday. (Photo: India Today/Vani Gupta)

Space Department budget slashed due to mission delays

While the annual allocation for the Ministry of Science and Technology has increased significantly, the budget of the Ministry of Space has been cut by Rs 1,100 crore from the previous financial year. The center has allocated Rs 12,543.91 crore to the Space Ministry, which is in charge of India’s space programme, against a budget of Rs 13,700 crore for 2022-23.

The space ministry, led by Isro chief S Somnath, said the Indian space agency will attempt some of the largest missions in its history, including the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon and the Aditya L-1 mission to observe the sun. While Isro is known for carrying out cost-effective missions around the world, deep budget cuts could further delay some of its missions, including the Gaganyaan mission.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change got Rs 3,079.40 crore in the 2023 budget as India works towards its net zero target. The Rs 19,700 crore National Green Hydrogen Mission will facilitate the transition of the economy towards a low carbon intensity and green economy, the finance minister announced in his budget speech. The goal of the hydrogen mission is to reach an annual production of 5 tons of MMT by 2030.

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