As India’s government prepares its first budget, Adam Smith looks at what researchers would put on its policy to-do list.
On the eve of Diwali, India’s then science minister Jitendra Singh announced what he called a “special gift”: a pay rise for the country’s publicly funded researchers. Without this, “many would have left their research jobs for other lucrative avenues”, he admitted.
It was a sign that the government of prime minister Narendra Modi, elected in the spring, understands the importance of research. But Singh’s gift was hard won, agreed after months of campaigning, petitions and demonstrations.