In DepthScience Policy

India orders premier labs to pay their own way

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Science  06 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6261, pp. 617
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6261.617

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India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has boosted the country's economy by fostering a booming generic drugs industry and devising new approaches to hybrid crops. Now, the network of 38 national laboratories needs to nurture its own finances. The central government, intent on curbing domestic spending, feels CSIR's $600 million budget is a luxury it can no longer afford and has given the labs 2 to 3 years to "self-finance" half their expenditures by winning grants, licensing discoveries, and collaborating with industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government insists it is not hostile to research: Rather, it wants R&D to better serve national interests. But the self-financing directive has riled many in India's scientific community.

  • * in Mumbai, India