It is really amusing to see so many people raise their hands and start shouting - poverty, slums, drinking water, health, etc. etc. - whenever any mention of India investing a substantial sum of money in a challenging scientific endeavour, apparently reserved for the developed first world countries, comes up.
How easy it is to do so, without having any ground knowledge of the state of things in the country, right?
Perhaps, a bit easier, than taking the troubles to know that all the basic things to be taken care of, as mentioned above, are already financed by a multitude of schemes for each one of them under various mininstries, programs and plans of the Indian governement.
Nowhere in the country, at no point of time in the last 2 decades at least, has a water, electricity, housing, education or health program suffered because of lack of funds from the top of the pyramid, but because of the apathy shown towards sincere planning and execution of those projects, including brazen corruption prevailing at all levels, which accounts for consuming most of the funds meant for the upliftment of the social condition.
Without digging for exact statistics and quoting all the schemes, it would not be an exaggeration to say that India regularly allotts huge sums of money, running into billions of dollars, for each of those basic amenities, under its Five Year Plans
, Annual Budgets etc.
It is definitely a matter of debate about the ratio of funds allocated for different purposes, the methods of allocation, accountability and responsibility. But just because apparently there seems to be less red-tapism for the scientific agencies in produring and applying funds for advancing research activities, or the pot-holed roads, hungry kids and uneducated & unemployed youth make for a more sensational news items whenever the former happens, India shouldn't be accused of trying to become a scientific powerhouse in spite of all the adveristies.
In fcat IMHO, the funds allocated for such scientific activities, is still far less than what should have been for a country the size and aspirations of India, and certainly much less than other countires like China.
Relativity is a bitch