Amidst the celebrations of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ the delivered Union budget 2022-23 marks the start of ‘Amrit Kaal,’ a 25-year journey leading up to India @100. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized that the focus during the ‘Amrit Kaal’ will be on PM Gati Shakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition, Climate Action, and Financing of investments. The key highlights with respect to R&D and innovation are as follows:

•    The need to tap sunrise opportunities was discussed in the above-mentioned priorities. The various sunrise opportunities include Artificial intelligence, Geospatial systems and Drones, semiconductors and their ecosystem, Space economy, Genomics and Pharmaceuticals, and Green Energy and Clean Mobility Systems. These opportunities have immense potential to aid the sustainable development and modernization in the country. These will employ the youth and help improve the mark of Indian products in the global market. The Government’s focus in the above areas will be bolstered by supportive policies, light-touch regulations, facilitative actions to build domestic capabilities, and promotion of research & development. Especially for R&D, collaborative efforts between Academia, Industry, Public institutions, and Government will be provided. 

•    The 5G technology, in particular, has the potential for growth and employability. To enable affordable broadband and mobile service proliferation in rural and remote areas, five percent of annual collections under the Universal Service Obligation Fund will be allocated to promote R&D and commercialization of technologies and solutions.

•    Defence R&D will be opened up for industry, startups, and academia with an earmarked budget of 25 percent. The SPV model will encourage private industry to design and develop military platforms and equipment in collaboration with DRDO and other organizations.
•    The action plans for the circular economy under the sectors such as electronic waste, end-of-life vehicles, used oil waste, and toxic & hazardous industrial waste are ready. The need for innovation facilitation is required in infrastructure, reverse logistics, technology up-gradation, and integration with the informal sector.

Apart from the above, the low carbon development strategy will also open up various business innovations in the areas of clean-tech and governance solutions, special mobility zones with zero fossil-fuel policy, and EV vehicles. Innovations in Fin-tech have rapidly grown in our country. The various allocations made in the areas of jobs, education, MSME, ease of business will aid the growth in innovations and contribute to the ‘Amrit Kaal’

This article has been authored by Sanket Thakre and Nithin Chakki.

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