The highly awaited Union Budget of 2021-22 was presented today morning in the Parliament by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. “Only three times has the Budget followed a contraction in the economy. This time, unlike before, the situation is due to a global pandemic. Budget 2021 provides every opportunity for the economy to capture the pace and grow sustainably,” she began.

The Budget 2021 proposals rest on six pillars —health & well-being, physical & financial capital & infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation & research & development, minimum government and maximum governance. The FM had promised a “never before” budget, not seen in a hundred years to overcome the economic devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Seeing revival in the economy, the government is fully prepared to support and facilitate the economic reset in the country”, said the Finance Minister. In the Innovation and Research & Development sector, Modalities of National Research Foundation was announced in July 2019 and requires Rs. 50,000 crores outlay over 5 years.

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There is a plan to strengthen overall research ecosystem with focus on national-priority thrust areas. Rs. 15700 crores have been allocated for MSME’s, there is a significant increase. This Budget provided a big boost for startups. Incorporation of one person companies to incentivize innovation in startups and reducing residency limit for Indian citizen to set up 1 person company from 182 to 120 days.

Focusing on the Technology sector, Rs. 1,500 crores are allocated for proposed scheme to promote digital modes of payment. This up-coming census would be the first digital census in the history of India and for this mammoth task, an allocation of Rs.3,768 crores has been made for the year 2021-22.

National Language Translation Mission (NTLM) is also being launched, to make governance and policy related knowledge available in major Indian languages. There has also been focus on the Space and Deep-Sea sector. PSLV-CS51 to be launched by New Space India Limited (NSIL) which is carrying Brazil’s Amazonia Satellite and some Indian satellites.

As a part of the Gaganyaan mission activities, 4 Indian astronauts are being trained on Generic Space Flight aspects, in Russia. The first unmanned launch is slated for December 2021. For the Deep Ocean Mission survey, the government has allocated Rs. 4,000 crores over five years for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity.

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