Tuesday, 23 July 2013

20th Sitting of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society

At the sitting held on 23 July, the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society discussed the current situation as regards scientific research.

The Committee members were addressed by the President of the Science Union, Dr Djurdjica Jovovic who spoke of the Union’s activities in the previous period and briefed the Committee members on the Union’s fundamental request – an increase in the Republic of Serbia budget allocations for science. She asked the Committee members to endorse the next year’s budget proposal calling for 0.65% GDP allocations for science with the perspective of raising said allocations in 2015 to 1%. One of the Union’s requests is also to regulate the researchers’ position from the perspective of labour law, said Djurdjica Jovovic.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Radivoje Mitrovic explained the reduction of the allocations for science, saying that since 2011 the number of researchers has been raised by almost 40%. The Ministry’s contributions for joint EU projects have also been raised, as have the innovation activity fund subsidies and the costs for the use of the electronic journal base. Mitrovic explained that the scientific research funds are secured from the budget and via the project management unit, pointing out that, in future, project funding should be used as a way to reward scientists who show results. Resolving the researchers’ status issues should also be one of the priorities in the upcoming period, added Mitrovic.
In the debate on the issue, the Committee members, as well as the President of the National Council for Higher Education Prof. Dr Srdjan Stankovic and the President of the National Council for Science and Technological Development Prof. Dr Vera Dondur, discussed the current situation in the sphere of scientific research, the status of scientific researchers and priorities of scientific research project funding, as well as the need for future scientific research to be adjusted to the needs of the economy and society.
At the sitting, the Committee also reviewed and adopted the Ministry of Youth and Sport Activity Information for the period April – June 2013, presented to the Committee members by Ministry State Secretary Predrag Perunicic and Assistant Minister of Youth and Sport Snezana Klasnja. They informed the Committee members about the work of youth offices, activities of the Fund for Young Talents and Centre for Career Guidance and Counselling, announcing the launching of the Youth Council.
The Committee members and Ministry representatives discussed the development of sports in schools, the influence of sports on child growth and development, pointing out that physical education classes should be returned into college level education.

The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman, Prof. Dr Miodrag Stojkovic.

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