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Budget to further boost Science and Technology ecosystem

Budget 2021 includes several initiatives to promote science, technology, and innovation with applications in the country. It is a forward-looking budget to substantially boost support for R&D in the key identified areas of national priorities. These are also in line with the projections in the draft Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2021 put up for public consultations. This includes a total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore (€5.9 billion) over 5 years for the National Research Foundation, an autonomous body envisaged to support researchers working across several streams of S&T with special focus on universities.

TAGS #R&D

Target to develop more than 4,372 cities as smart cities

Stating that the smart cities concept does not have a single dimension of focusing on just big or small cities, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has said that the target is to develop more than 4,372 cities as smart cities. “Our target is to develop our 4,372 cities, along with other cities, as smart cities. To make this happen, cities should use their land, resources, local people, and skills to move on different path,” he said at the virtual 4th Smart Cities Summit & 2nd Smart Urban Innovation Awards, organized by FICCI in the Capital. He said that the learning of one city chosen under 100 smart cities should be spread to other cities so that it becomes a light house.

TAGS #Cities

Rise in customs duty on auto parts to support local manufacturing

With an eye on supporting domestic manufacturers, the government proposed an increase in customs duty on certain imported components used in automobiles. In the Budget 2021-22, the Finance Minister proposed an increase in customs duty of various parts including ignition wiring sets, safety glass and parts of signalling equipment to 15 % with effect from February. The government said the changes in basic customs duty is for creating a level-playing field for the benefit of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other domestic manufacturers.

Lab testing in India should be of world standards

The Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister has called for embarking on Mission 'one nation one standard' and make India the leader in setting global benchmarks in setting standards. He said that lab testing in India should be of world standards and modern equipment and latest technologies should be used. BIS should explore international partnerships and associations to achieve synergy in the field. He said that "gap analysis" of BIS and government labs be taken up on a priority basis as well. In management parlance, gap analysis refers to the comparison of actual performance with potential or desired performance.

TAGS #standards