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State Duma science committee proposes second reading of RAS reform bill on September 18

September 17, 2013, 11:10 UTC+3
The document was put on the Tuesday plenary meeting of the State Duma agenda in the third final reading, but the deputies decided to return to the procedure of second reading
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Photo ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Berkut

Photo ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Berkut

MOSCOW, September 17 (Itar-Tass) - The specific State Duma committee for science proposes to have a second reading of the bill over a heatedly debated reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) on September 18, First Deputy Chairman of the committee Vladimir Kononov said at a meeting here on Tuesday.

The document was put on the agenda of the Tuesday plenary meeting of the State Duma in the third final reading, but the deputies decided to return to the procedure of second reading to approve the amendments, including those from the academic community.

July 10, the leaders of the Opposition factions at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament called for reversing the bill on reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences /RAS/ to the 2nd reading for additional amendments.

First deputy house speaker from the Communist faction Ivan Melnikov said during the Open Tribune session that "there've been too many critical remarks about the draft law. Unconditional return of the document to the second reading and finalizing it is the minimum that can be done," Melnikov said.

He also suggested discussing an alternative to the proposed reform. It envisions the establishment of an agency for science and innovations under the Russian government to perform two basic functions: it will act as state customer in R&D programs and monitor the effectiveness and goal-oriented use of the state assets by research centers, including RAS.

A Just Russia faction leader Sergei Mironov, too, called for extra amendments. "We should return /it/ to the second reading; and, if necessary, change the concept," Mironov said.

He noted that "thanks to RAS and lawmakers' efforts, it was possible to change the unacceptable initial provisions of the draft law: "the threat of RAS liquidation has been eliminated. As to how the reform will go is another question. During the autumn session, it is necessary to continue consolidated discussion of the bill in order to keep succession in a new RAS when implementing the reform."

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