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State Duma to consider first reading of bill on RAS reform on July 3

July 01, 2013, 15:04 UTC+3
The government moved in the bill on reorganizing of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the State Duma on June 28
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MOSCOW, July 1 (Itar-Tass) - The State Duma will consider the first reading of a governmental bill on a reform in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) on Wednesday, July 3. The Council of the lower house of Russian parliament has taken this decision on Monday, State Duma Vice-Speaker from the LDPR Igor Lebedev told Itar-Tass.

He noted that the State Duma decided to consider second and third readings of the bill in the autumn of this year.

The government moved in the bill on reorganizing of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the State Duma on June 28. The presidium of the United Russia faction of parliamentary majority decided to support the debates over the bill in the first reading earlier on Monday, leader of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Vladimir Vasilyev told reporters. The specific State Duma committee for science and science-intensive technologies recommended to consider the bill in the first reading on July 5.

The bill offers a general reorganization of the Russian Academy of Sciences through the creation of a public, state-run organization Russian Academy of Sciences with further shutdown of the current Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The Russian Academy of Education, the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences and the Russian Academy of Fine Arts will be put under subordination of relevant federal authorities.

A special agency will be formed to manage the property of scientific institutes and state academies of sciences within the RAS reorganization. “The Russian Federation is a founder and owner of property of state academies of sciences,” and “the government performs the functions and powers of the founder and owner of federal property of the state academies of sciences on behalf of the Russian Federation,” the bill runs.

The title of corresponding member is dropped in all academies, all academicians and corresponding members are conferred with the common title of academician upon their applications, and a three-year moratorium is introduced for new elections on academicians.

The RAS president will become “an omnipotent RAS executive authority.” He will be elected for five years from RAS academicians, but for more than two terms in succession.

The development of fundamental and fact-finding scientific research, “which are aimed at finding a new knowledge on the laws of the development of the nature, society, man and which promote technological, economic, social and spiritual development of Russia,” the expert scientific support for the activity of the state authorities, people and organizations in scientific and scientific-technical sphere, “an all-round promotion to the development of science” and “the spreading and growth of the authority of scientific knowledge” are set as the goals of the activity of a reorganized Russian Academy of Sciences. The strengthening of the ties between science and education and the promotion of a higher status and social security of people of science are also on this list.

The RAS tasks envisage the development of the proposals to work out and fulfil the state scientific-technical policy, the expertise of major programs and projects, the participation in the coordination of fundamental and fact-finding research, which are funded from the state budget, “scientific consulting and expert services” to the state authorities, ordinary people and organizations.

According to accompanying documents, a long-term program of scientific research in Russia will be approved by the government upon agreement with the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Additional budget allocations for the reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences will make more than 500 million roubles. These allocations will be used particularly for a higher remuneration of the academicians. The feasibility study to the bill holds that “the academicians will be paid academic scholarships in the size, which the Russian government will set for their lifetime since the moment of conferring the title of academician on them.”

The State Duma will round off its spring session on July 5.

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