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National Research Foundation Bill, 2023 UPSC NOTE


National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023

  • The Union Cabinet approved the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023.

  • The legislation aims to establish the NRF as an apex body to provide “high-level strategic direction” to scientific research in the country under the National Education Policy (NEP) at an estimated cost of ₹50,000 crore between 2023 and 2028.

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be the “administrative” department of the NRF, which will have a governing Board of eminent researchers and professionals.


  • The Prime Minister will be the ex-officio president of the Board and the Union Ministers of Science and Technology and Education ex-officio vice-presidents.

  • The NRF’s functioning will be governed by an executive council chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

  • The new law will repeal the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) established by Parliament in 2008 and subsumes it into the NRF.

  • When the NRF starts functioning, close to ₹36,000 crore is expected from the private sector (as investments into research).

  • The government will contribute ₹10,000 crore over five years.

  • The NRF will prioritise research funding and the executive council will decide on what areas need support.

  • The DST, the main source of funds for several autonomous research bodies, will continue to get the budget it annually receives. 

  • The DST also funds several scholarships and capacity building programmes. They will continue doing so.

Need of the bill

  • A Bill was necessary because current laws made it hard for private research organisations to contribute to a funding body such as the NRF.

  • The NRF was meant to ensure that scientific research was conducted and funded equitably with greater participation from the private sector. 

  • Right now, we have eminent institutions like the IITs and IISc that get a bulk of research funding but State universities get very little... about 10% of the research funds. The NRF will correct this.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: National Research Foundation Bill, 2023 UPSC NOTE
National Research Foundation Bill, 2023 UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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