New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday hit out at the Centre over scientists at top research institutions having not received funds for this financial year, alleging that the Modi government is “hell-bent” on killing scientific research in the country.
His attack came over a media report which claimed that scientists at top research institutions who ought to have received funds from central agencies for this financial year in April, were still waiting, “Modi Govt is hell-bent to kill scientific research in the country, thus hampering a nation’s progress,” Kharge said in a tweet.
Scientists at top research institutions are yet to receive funds for this financial year and are forced to use their hard-earned savings to continue research, he said.
“At a time when government has promised more funding by setting up a National Research Foundation (NRF), their purchases are on hold and project staff have not been paid for three months. Private funding is welcome, but the Government funding should not stop,” the Congress president said.
Budget 2023 slashed the funds for scientific research by 6.87 per cent, he said.
“In 2017, the scientific community was forced to stage nationwide protests in 27 cities to register their concerns about paltry funding, fund cuts and pseudo-science propagated by the Modi Government,” he said.
In 2015, the Modi government had asked organisations involved in scientific research to start “self-financing” projects, which meant they would have to raise their own funding for research, Kharge said.
“Modi Government has time and again displayed its utter disdain and contempt against encouraging scientific temper,” he alleged.
“PM Modi might speak about – Jai Vigyaan, Jai anusandhan – but sadly, his government wishes to — parajay vigyaan, parajay anusandhan (defeat science, defeat research),” Kharge said.
Earlier, senior Congress leader P Chidamabram took a swipe at the Centre over the matter, saying maybe the government will coin a new slogan ‘minimum funds, maximum research’.
Citing the same media report as Kharge, Chidambaram said that as a result of this, purchases are on hold and project staff have not been paid for three months.
He also quoted senior scientist, S C Lakhotia, as saying that he is paying his project staff from his own pocket.
Why are the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Biotechnology silent on the matter, the former Union minister asked.
“Maybe the Government will coin a new slogan this week: minimum funds, maximum research,” Chidambaram said on Twitter.