What is the procedure followed to take a decision for various matters?
The Department of Biotechnology provides grant-in-aid to various research institutes, universities, voluntary organizations and other laboratories for implementation of projects on research and development, technology demonstration and validation, centers of excellence, programme support, human resource development and bioinformatics. It has under seven autonomous bodies under its administrative control.
The department has laid down a detailed procedure for consideration, processing and sanction of new projects, review and release of grant for ongoing projects and final settlement of accounts for completed projects. For new project generation and priority areas identification also standardized procedure such as meetings of the Expert Committee, Brain Storming Session, etc are organized. Detailed procedures are documented as given below.
Standardized Procedure There is a standardized procedure for sanction of new projects, and processing of on going projects for release of grant.
New projects proposals: R&D projects are generally received directly by the Department and are submitted to the project registry where they are given a serial number depending up on the area, and entered in the database. Thereafter the project proposals are examined by an Internal Screening Committee (ISC) which is chaired by an Advisor and all Scientific Officers of the Department are Members of the ISC. The Member Secretaries Programme officers of the respective areas present the project proposals to the ISC for consideration. The recommendations of the ISC are put up to Secretary for final approval. The projects recommended by ISC are processed further and sent to a minimum of five experts for comments. The project proposals along with the comments of the referees (preferably a minimum of three) are placed before the respective Task Forces for final recommendation. The project proposal is discussed by the Task Force based on the referees comments and also based on the presentation made by the PI in some cases, specially for projects costing Rs. 25 lakhs and above. (this may vary from Task Force to Task Force and also on case to case basis). The Task Force then makes its final recommendation on the project. Based on these recommendations, approved by the Chairman of the Task Force, the proposal is processed by the programme officer for financial concurrence.
In some cases the projects are generated through a Brain Storming Session or an Expert Group based on the priority areas identified by the Department either through the recommendations of the Task Force or the Expert Advisory Committees such as BRPC, SAC-DBT or SAC-O. The Expert Group identifies the project areas and institutes, in some cases, for submitting the project proposals. The pre-proposals are discussed by the Expert Group/ Working Group and thereafter detailed proposals are called for. These proposals are then presented before the Expert Committee/ Task Force for final recommendations. In such cases the written comments of the Experts are not mandatory. These generated projects are registered in the project registry, however, they are to be put up to the ISC only as reporting items.
For the programmes on Societal Development (SC, ST, Rural Development and Women) there is a separate Departmental Screening Committee chaired by the concerned Advisor which considers the projects in the same manner as the Internal Screening Committee. The recommendations are put up to Secretary for approval and there after the proposals are processed by the Programme officer as per process outlined as above.
All project proposals under consideration in the Department which cost above Rs. 1 crore and above are put up to the BRPC for consideration and recommendation. The routine projects are put up to BRPC only after receiving the recommendations of the respective Task Forces. For the projects generated by Expert Committees/ Brain Storming Session, the BRPC considers proposals only with the recommendations of the relevant committee.
Processing for IFD Concurrence: The proposals with the recommendations of the relevant committee/TF/BRPC are put up to IFD for concurrence by the Programme officer through the concerned Advisor. The project after concurrence by the concerned Finance officer in sent to JS & FA and Secretary for final approval.
Releases for on-going projects : For ongoing releases, the Finance Officers up to Director level are authorized to concur in proposals up to Rs. 25.00 lakh, however release more than Rs. 10.00 lakhs require approval of Secretary.
An release above Rs. 25.00 lakhs is with the concurrence of JS & FA and approval by Secretary.
Advisors are authorized to approve the carrying forward of unspent grant.
What are the arrangements to communicate the decision to the public? The department has a separate web site and information regarding the new priority areas, list of projects, achievements of the ongoing projects and recommendation of scientific meeting and major policy issues are put on the web for information to public.
Who are the officers at various levels whose opinions are sought for the process of decision making? Details of the officers at various levels have been provided as given
Who is the final authority that wets the decision? For all decisions regarding project sanction, grant release etc., Secretary is the competent Authority. For major decisions and approval of projects costing above Rs. 5 crore necessary approval of the Minister in-charge is required. New schemes are implemented after necessary approval by Cabinet.