MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - The science committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, on Thursday recommended that lawmakers passed in the second crucial reading the government-backed bill on a sweeping overhaul of Russia’s Academy of Sciences.
“We have now recommended the bill for second reading,” Committee Chairman Valery Chereshnev said.
The bill proposes handing control over the academy’s vast assets and 434 scholarly institutes to a new state agency. Under this bill, the academy would also be merged with two other state academies, for agriculture and medicine.
The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, will hold the second reading on Friday, but the third and final one will be postponed until fall to allow time for revisions, the academy’s president-elect Vladimir Fortov said Wednesday.
The academy’s presidium criticized the reform earlier this week, saying it would cripple Russian science by handing control over it to government bureaucrats with no scholarly experience whose chief interest is in seizing the academy’s assets. The academy’s union also threatened a nationwide strike.