Government of India allocated science budget for COVID-19 related research

New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Government of India allocated science budget for COVID-19 related research. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister said that DBT and its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), have allocated an amount of appx. Rs 1300 Crore for COVID-19 Research and Product Development.

Under the COVID-19 Research Consortium as a part of the comprehensive efforts to facilitate development of indigenous research solutions to tackle COVID-19, 107 projects were supported in thematic areas of COVID-19 vaccines (17), diagnostics (45), therapeutics (22) and biomedical interventions (23).

To advance biomedical research DBT has supported five COVID-19 biorepositories. Further, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG), a Consortium of 28 regional sequencing labs, was launched, to ascertain the status of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.  “Mission COVID Suraksha – The Indian COVID-19 vaccine development Mission” is being implemented at a total cost of Rs. 900 Cr. The Mission is supporting the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates (05), facilities for animal challenge studies (03), facilities for immunogenicity assays (03), clinical trial sites (19). Additionally, facility enhancement of Bharat Biotech and 3 Public Sector Undertakings to support augmented production of Covaxin, is also being supported under the Mission.

Department of Science and Technology (DST) earmarked an amount of approximately Rs 200 Cr. for COVID-19 related research for implementation through its different programmes, Autonomous Institutions and statutory bodies like Science and Engineering Research Board and Technology Development Board.Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has allocated Rs.10444.39 lakhs from its Government budgetary support and internal resources for implementing projects related to COVID-19 related research. Department of Biotechnology (DBT), supported COVID-19 related research activities under the umbrella schemes of “Biotechnology Research and Development” and “Industrial and Entrepreneurship Development”.