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Indian research and development is to receive a boost under its new national budget, outlined on 8 July. Expenditure on research and development will increase by almost a quarter, to a total of Rs152 billion (US$3.3 billion).

The secretary of the department of science and technology said all major programmes will receive a 15 per cent increase in funding. Part of the additional money will go into rural development projects, such as agricultural biotechnology and technology to clean water supplies, including India's first commercial-scale desalination plant in Chennai.

The largest lump of money, however, will go to a space project. Almost Rs5 billion (US$100 million) — nearly one fifth of the entire space budget — has been earmarked for the development of a new rocket to launch satellites.

Link to full news story in Nature

Reference: Nature 430, 281 (2004)

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