New scheme to advance deep-tech technologies: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
The allocation for the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems has been increased to a corpus of Rs 614 crore in FY 2024-2025.
A new scheme will be unveiled to boost deep-tech technologies in the defence sector, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the pre-election interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-2025.
“A new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defence purposes and expediting ‘Atmanirbharta’,” said Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha.
The complete Budget will be presented by the newly elected government post-Lok Sabha polls.
According to the estimates provided by the Ministry of Finance, the allocation for the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems has been increased to a corpus of Rs 614 crore in FY 2024-2025 from a revised estimate of Rs 435 crore in FY 2023-2024.
The National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems focuses on technology development and research in emerging sectors, including artificial intelligence, big data, digital manufacturing, quantum communication, and Internet-of-Things.
Similarly, the government has allocated Rs 759 crore to cyber security projects for FY25, doubling from Rs 400 crore in FY 2023-2024.
Notably, the Budget outlined a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore with a 50-year interest-free loan, which will provide long-term financing or refinancing with long tenures, and low or nil interest rates for startups, including deep-tech companies.
“This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. We need to have programmes that combine the powers of our youth and technology,” said Sitharaman.
This feat will be a golden era, especially for tech-savvy youth, she added.
While presenting the Budget under the ‘Research and Innovation for catalysing growth, employment, and development’ section, the Minister highlighted the significance of new-age technologies and data in shaping lives and economic opportunities.
“They are enabling new economic opportunities and facilitating the provision of high-quality services at affordable prices for all, including those at the bottom of the pyramid. Opportunities for India at the global level are expanding. India is showing solutions through innovation and entrepreneurship of its people,” added Sitharaman.
About 99% of Indian B2B SaaS companies adopt deep-tech innovations to address clients' needs and challenges, according to an EY India and NASSCOM report.
The report, named “Unlocking DeepTech Potential in Indian B2B SaaS”, analysed 201 Indian companies, revealing the trends in the rising adoption of deep-tech technology.
“The massive Rs 1 lakh crore corpus with long-tenure, low-cost capital not only provides a runway for research advancements but also incentivises the private sector to boost innovation capacities. Combined with the new scheme to expedite defence-focused deep-tech and sops for startups to encourage IP generation, this landscape oils India’s rise as a scientific powerhouse,” said Sukhmani Bedi, Partner, Orios Venture Partners.
Edited by Kanishk Singh