Biotechnology dept receives Rs 2,581 cr to develop nasal Covid vaccine

The Ministry of Science and Technology, which has been conducting trials on DNA vaccine till now for the nasal Covid vaccine, has been allotted Rs 6,000 crore, of which the Biotechnology department received Rs 2,581 crore, which is the nodal department on the vaccine development front.

Union Science and Technology Minister, Jitendra Singh, said that a small Ministry like Earth Sciences has been allocated a budget of Rs 2,653.51 crore, which is in addition to Rs 4,000 crore allocated earlier for the Deep Ocean Mission.

This only indicates Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s belief that the economy of future India is going to be dependent on ocean and sea resources, he added.

Singh said that if one was to explain the General Budget 2022-23 in a single sentence, it would be appropriate to say that this is a “futuristic Budget with scientific vision and startup incentives”.

India looks forward to a crucial decade ahead, which will primarily be determined by two factors — economy, and science, technology and innovation, he added.

Singh recalled Modi’s concern about climate change expressed in COP-26 and pointed to a reference on Tuesday’s Budget speech to low carbon development strategy.

He said that the Ministry of Science and Technology has been given a boost by the Prime Minister in carrying forward the Hydrogen Mission.

The emphasis on drones, including “Drone Shakti” through startups and utilisation of ‘Kisan Drones’ in the agriculture sector are bound to give India a headway over other countries of the world, the Union Minister added.

For promotion of startups, the Union Budget provides for export and domestic production incentivisation, Singh said.

Welcoming the development, R.G. Agarwal, Group Chairman of Dhanuka Agritech Ltd, said, “The government’s focus on augmenting and promoting usage of drones for various farm activities, including crop assessment etc., would immensely help the agriculture sector. It would have been apt had the Union Finance Minister also reduced GST and customs duty so that overall cost is reduced.”

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