IN A major boost to science and technology in the State, the government has decided to increase the budget of MP Council of Science and Technology (MPCST) by more than five times for the 11th five-year plan. The budget for the 11th plan is proposed to be hiked to Rs 60 crore from the Rs 11 crore budget of the tenth five-year plan – a hike of more than five times.
Consequently, the budget for the next financial year (2007-08) is proposed to be hiked to Rs 15 crore from the existing annual budget of Rs 3.5 crore. The decision to hike this budget was taken at a meeting of the State Planning Board held recently under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Following the decision, the MPCST has been directed to present a revised proposal for the 11th five-year plan to the State Planning Board.
MPCST director general Dr Mahesh Sharma confirmed to Hindustan Times that the State government has promised the budget hike for the 11th plan. He said that it was a very welcome step although the hike was not as much as proposed by the MPCST.
However, the increased budget would help the MPCST in carrying out its science and technology promotional activities in a better way.
The hike in budget has been proposed under the heads of science popularisation programme, Remote Sensing Application Centre, new projects, research and development activities, Biotechnology Excellence Centre, Human Resource Development, documentation of traditional knowledge and scientific authentication of the same, innovation and documentation of rural traditional knowledge.
The implementation of these projects will lead to employment generation in big way. The MPCST is also preparing database of all 48 districts under the National Natural Resource Information System – which will provide detailed information on natural resources as well as socio-economic conditions of all rural and urban areas of the State.