Recurring Decimals…..

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Tax Rupees at Work

with 7 comments

Who knew that digging around a mundane document like the Govt of India’s Union Budget for 2007-08 would reveal such nuggets of gold !

Example 1: Turns out, there is something called the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (even comes with the snappy acronym, AYUSH) within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The allocation for this department for the coming fiscal year is Rs 563.88 crores (pdf link)! Even if I concede that it might be worthwhile to study ancient Ayurvedic practices, Homeopathy or even Unani, the budget amount is particularly galling when you compare it to the total budget for the Departement of Biotechnology – Rs 694.70 crores. That’s right – biotechnology, perhaps one of the most capital intensive research fields and certainly the future, gets only a fraction higher allocation of funds as the study of pseudo-medicine !

Example 2: The Department of Higher Education within the Ministry of Human Resource Development is funding the following: "Area Intensive and Madrasa Modernisation Programme (AIMMP)" and the "National Institute of Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib" (pdf link). The question is, why is a constitutionally secular government providing funding for religious schools and what is essentially a religious study ? Should it at least provide equal opportunity to all religions and therefore funding for ‘The Institute for Reincarnation Studies", "Regional Dharmshalas teaching 5-easy steps to Nirvana", "His Noodly Self’s Beer Volcanoes‘ etc ?

Btw, here is the rationale for the National Institute of Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib:

Sri Guru Granth Sahib being a repository of divine word, interfaith dialogue, and also being relevant for an holistic approach to human life and civilization, it is proposed to set up a National Institute of Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib to facilitate study of the origin of Bani, its preservation, transmission, impact, etc. as
an autonomous body.

Sigh ! And we complain there isn’t enough funding for real science !


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

March 6, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Posted in India, Politics, Rants

7 Responses

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  1. 500 crores for Beer Volcanoes! That will buy a lot of Beer for sure.


    March 6, 2007 at 10:16 pm

  2. Ayurveda is not a pseudo science…
    I do not know wht the Govt does with the money for its benefit, but calling it a pseudo medicine is a little unjust.

    dhananjay mhatre

    March 7, 2007 at 5:16 am

  3. Mr. Mhatre, would you care to explain how Ayurveda is scientific? What principles of the Scientific Method does it follow?


    March 8, 2007 at 5:50 am

  4. There is little accountability in the Indian budgetary system. In spite of all the attention the annual budget gets, there is little dissection beyond the usual and obvious price hikes and cuts. At least bloggers can help point such glaring abnormalities when the media doesn’t.


    March 8, 2007 at 3:03 pm

  5. I would like to point out that it not for “Study”

    There are scores of hospitals in various states run by government

    This amount is going to be spent on

    1. Construction and maintenance of the hospital Buildings
    2. Buying Drugs
    3. Buying Other Items necessary to run a hospital
    4. Salary

    I hope that you get the picture now

    For my other posts about Ayurveda, please see

    Please note that I have my own views about Ayurveda, but the fact is that the money being alloted is not just for study, but thousands of hospitals are being run across the india “due to public demand”


    March 10, 2007 at 8:22 am

  6. Reply to Ayush: There is a difference between Ayurveda as a philosophy and Ayurvedic research as it has traditionally been conducted. If you are thinking that Ayurvedic research is not very scientific, there is some truth in it. But that certainly does not mean that the elements, therapies, and compounds used in Ayurveda itself don’t have effects that can be scientifically investigated. And it of course does not mean that they have no effects at all in the first place.


    March 15, 2007 at 1:28 pm

  7. Dear Sir
    Can you please define medicine and pseudomedicine
    Have you ever checked out the break up of the budget provided for AYUSH

    I think comparision with money spent on Biotechnology eith that of AYUSH is ridiculus.

    please check out the benificieris of AYUSH and handful of people who tag themselves with Biotechnology.

    ///”That’s right – biotechnology, perhaps one of the most capital intensive research fields and certainly the future, gets only a fraction higher allocation of funds as the study of pseudo-medicine !”///

    Do you want only a handful of people to get wealthier definitely not healthier with technology intese dependense creating faculty like biotechnology ?

    Perhaps you dont know many stories of farmars, and other innocent victoms of BT seeds and stuff like that.

    all that is old and ancient is not unscientific
    and every thing that is new is not scientific

    only time will provide you the testimonials;

    dont be impatient !

    Dr. Saket Ram

    December 13, 2007 at 6:53 am

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