Budget 2016: Many medical projects stuck due to resource crunch, says ICMR director

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) today said a large number of biomedical research projects being undertaken by 32 scientific organizations across the country have been stuck due to resource crunch.

"There have been budget cuts across the board in the Indian Council of Medical Research," ICMR Director General Soumya Swaminathan said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

ICMR has 32 institutes that are suffering due to lack of funds for upgrading the infrastructure, maintain equipment, buy consumables and to conduct field studies.

"We had asked for Rs 10,000 crores for our 12th five year plan from 2012 to 2017 as we had plans to spend that amount and our expenditure has been 100 per cent every year. But we have received only 50 per cent of what we had requested. Many projects are not on track because of this," Soumya said at a
media interaction.

She said that scientific organisations need to be empowered to become globally competitive.

"Resource crunch affects in many different ways. A research institute should always have cutting edge technology. If we are working with outdated equipment and facility and if things are not available on time, we cannot be globally competitive," she said.

Managerial delays are affecting scientific innovations and experiments, she alleged.

"It takes six months to get a reagent while in west you get it in one day. By the time a scientist starts doing an experiment it is already done and published somewhere else. We cannot compete globally unless we change the way in which we use science," the ICMR Director General said.

Soumya, however, expressed hope that the government will give more financial and managerial flexibility to scientific organizations.

"A progressive and high standard research can only be done if we get full budget. We are hopeful of getting more funds as Prime Minister wants to support scientific organizations by bringing accountability and empowering management," she added.

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2016 13:24:09 IST

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