The country can no longer have a minimum budgetary commitment to scientific research and development after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador scrapped a clause binding the state to allocate at least 1% of GDP for this item. .
Article 9bis of the Science and Technology Law provides that the annual amount allocated to federal institutions and municipalities for scientific research and technological development activities cannot be less than 1% of the country’s GDP. sHowever, in accordance with the General Law Initiative on the Humanities, Science, Technology and Innovation sent by the President, the commitment was rescinded.
Instead, they speak only of necessary and sufficient budgets.
In an interview, Alma Maldonado and Brenda Valderrama, researchers and members of the ProcienciaMX network, acknowledged that the elimination of this commitment is a ploy, in addition to allocating less money to development and scientific research in the country. Rejecting well-established claims of the community regarding the need to guarantee minimum resources in scientific and technological development.
“The 1% is never achieved, that is a fact, but there is always the possibility of achieving a goal; It is a very appropriate framework that acts as pressure and now without it that purpose has disappeared (…) They talk about very general things like ‘adequate’, ‘necessary’ etc., But these adjectives, since they do not have a numerical component, are more ambiguous and lead us to think that even the minimum would not be the target for what Maldonado from the Syninvestv Educational Research Department considered.
Data contained in the same initiative shows how far the country is in meeting its commitment to allocate 1% of GDP to science and technological development.
For example, national spending on scientific research and applied development was 0.49% of GDP in 2010, while spending on scientific investment and applied development (GIDE) declined from 0.43% to 0.31% of GDP from 2013 to 2018.
“Similarly, the perceived promotion of private investment in research and technological innovation was wasteful, which, far from increasing its proportion in relation to GDP, gradually decreased from 2010 until it stood at 0.05% of GDP in 2018.” Reached,” detailed in the document sent to. Chamber of Deputies.
Brenda Valderrama, research academic at UNAM and member of ProCienciaMx, stressed the importance of reading the resolution sent by the President in light of everything that has happened since the beginning of his government in terms of science.
The researcher recalled recent amendments to the Science and Technology Act, still in force, to banish trust and funding.
Now in the proposal, not only have funds and trusts not been considered, but they have also been banned and, moreover, the national commitment to invest 1% of GDP in science has been omitted.
“We have gone from a system in which there was a commitment that generated the means to adhere to it, to a system in which there is no longer any commitment and, moreover, prevents the generation of instruments for investment,” he reprimanded. . Researcher.
according to a analysis For the expenditure budget project created by the funder, if the current provision regarding 1% was met, a budget of 182 thousand 200 million pesos would have to be allocated for science and technology, which is 3.5 times more than the current one. One.
This amount is practically equal to the amount allocated to Maya Train, both modalities of the Benito Juárez Scholarship and the Sembrando Vida and Jovenes Construendo programs.
In addition to the initiative sent by President López Obrador, there are currently four additional proposals in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate promoted by the scientific community and legislators from different parties.
With the advent of this fifth lesson, the ProCienciaMx network stated that the five proposals should be ruled in a coordinated manner and the best should be taken from each one to form the best sequence.
To this end, he called for the reactivation of the Bicameral Science and Technology Commission, in which deputies and senators work together to define what the new science and technology legislation would be.