Lok Sabha passes Anusandhan National Research Foundation Bill, 2023

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Anusandhan National Research Foundation Bill, 2023.
The Bill was passed after a brief discussion amid walkout by the opposition members from the house.
The Bill proposes to establish the National Research Foundation (NRF), a new body that will provide “high level strategic direction for research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of natural sciences including mathematical sciences, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences.
As per the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), the National Research Foundation will be set up at a total estimated cost of Rs. 50,000 crore during the next five years from (2023-28).
Speaking on the Bill, Science and Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “Several steps have been taken by the government in the last nine years to strengthen the ecosystem for promotion of science and innovation in the country”
“The decision has been taken to open up the space sector for the private sector as more than 150 startups are working in this sector” he added.
Mentioning the importance of the Bill, Dr Singh said, “This bill will generate competition within the state universities and the Centre is working with the whole government approach”.
The Minister said that India has reached 42 positions in the global innovation index.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that since India’s future economic growth will be Science & Technology driven, ANRF will prepare India for a global role as India takes lead in addressing global challenges as envisioned by Prime Minister Modi.
“If the bill is going to pass in parliament it will be a historic step as this would lead to rationalisation and democratization of human resources and research funding” the Minister said in the house.
The Minister said with the formation of NRF, India will join other countries in having such an organisation and expressed hope that it will soon surpass them.
Talking about the importance of the bill, he said in the area of funding, mostly the centres and departments are in universities, but research is also done in science institutes and IITs.
Singh said that the funds are granted on the basis of competition and often the IITs would take away 65 per cent of the funds.
”Only 11 per cent would remain with the state universities. So, this bill empowers states,” he added.
On June 28, 2023 the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the introduction of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 in the Parliament.
Earlier, initiating the discussion, Jagdambika Pal of BJP said, this bill will strengthen the research ecosystem in the country.
He said the objective of the Bill is to establish the Anusandhan National Research Foundation.
Terming the bill as a “transformative and revolutionary” Talari Rangaiah of YSR Congress Party said that it will facilitate scientific development and research in the country.
The Bill also repeals the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008 and dissolves the Science and Engineering Research Board set up under it.
NRF will forge collaborations among the industry, academia, and government departments and research institutions, and create an interface mechanism for participation and contribution of industries and State governments in addition to the scientific and line ministries.
It will focus on creating a policy framework and putting in place regulatory processes that can encourage collaboration and increased spending by the industry on R&D.

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