Solar energy research is a key focus of BJP Government, the renewable energy ministry allocated INR 142 billion, more than double of current funding levels. The huge funding increase comes after India and France launched the International Solar Alliance to boost the uptake of solar energy in developing countries in Nov-2015. India’s science community seems to be on the whole pleased by the proposed funding for science, many of scientists feel that far higher spending levels would be needed for Indian research. In the total of INR 209 billion for science, technology and the environment, the science and technology ministry gets INR 81 billion, as up 12% on the previous year. Of the three departments within the ministry, science and technology will see the largest increase, a gain of 17% with a budget of INR 40 billion, while the biotechnology department should see a 12% increase to INR 18 billion.

By funding for the chemicals and fertilizer, ministry should rise to INR 43 billion, up by 9%. within that ministry, funding for the pharmaceutical department will rise to 6% INR 1.6 billion. Indian pharmaceutical industry has expressed an concern about a proposal in the budget to reduce tax relief on research and development expenses next year from 200% to 150%, by following a further reduction in 2020 to 100%. The budget also calls for ‘regulatory architecture’ to help make 10 public and 10 private Indian institutions into world leading centres of teaching and research. The budget does not provide any further details.

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