In its first budget after retaining power in the December Assembly elections, the Bhupendra Patel government has set aside Rs 2,193 crore—a whopping 227 per cent rise compared to last year’s Rs 670 crore—for science and technology. Around Rs 184 crore of the total allocation in the 2023-24 budget is provisioned towards the capital expenditure to the Gujarat Council of Science City, including a plan to set aside Rs 12 crore for a ‘space manufacturing cluster’.
The space manufacturing cluster will be developed in association with Indian Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), ISRO’s Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad.
Science City in Ahmedabad, which added an aquatic gallery, a robotics gallery and a nature park in 2021 as part of its phase-II developments, at a construction, operation and maintenance cost of Rs 387 crore (for the aquatic gallery and robotics gallery), is also due to see more additions.
Rs 22 crore has also been allocated for the development of aviation and defence gallery as part of GCSC’s total Rs 184 crore allocation. Another Rs 10 crore has been provisioned for the development of a “vertical IT and science park” at Science City.
Notably, in last year’s budget, Rs 45 crore was proposed to develop a ‘human and biological science gallery’ at the Science City.
Meanwhile, among other new items in the DST budget is the development of a pre-clinical, BSL-3 Lab and brown field facility at Savli, Vadodara, for which Rs 1 crore has been provisioned.