CSIR, the country’s largest research and development organization is in-charge of 37 laboratories and 39 field-stations across the country, is short of cash to fund research projects.
Director General Girish Sahni told news agency IANS that out of the Rs 4,063 budgetary allocation provided to it, the balance remaining is only Rs 202 crore. Rs 158 crore from that fund has already been allocated, Sahni reportedly said.
“If we were to release further sums we will be left with no funds to support new research projects,” Sahni reportedly says in a letter where he informed all the laboratory directors of the same, calling it the “stark reality”.
In the current situation, says Sahni in his letter, the laboratories will have to manage with funds from their external earnings. Sahni has reportedly also asked labs for a business development report on the status of technology that can be “out-licensed to companies/stakeholders immediately”.
In his letter, Sahni reportedly tells labs to identify at least “one outstanding game-changer technology” that they could provide in the “short run”.
Sahni told IANS that he was hopeful that the CSIR would tide over the current crisis and that the organization was taking steps to ensure that they would be able to meet 50 percent of their budget by 2020.
CSIR is an autonomous body that was established in 1942 by the Government of India and emerged as the biggest research organization in the country employing over 17,000 people at last count. Sahni was appointed Director General in August 2015.