New ministry 'ready by Feb'

New ministry 'ready by Feb'

A revamped science ministry will have be operating before the general election expected in February, Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee said Monday.

He said a draft bill on the matter will be submitted August to the cabinet for approval, he said at a press conference.

The event was aimed at updating the media of the planned merger of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Office of Higher Education (OHE), which oversees universities. The OHE has so far been operating under the Education Ministry.

The government decided to merge the two bodies to help foster more innovation.

Under the yet-to-be-named ministry, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) will play a major role in accelerating science and technology, particularly in terms of driving economic growth and helping universities conduct more research in this area.

Mr Suvit said he wants to get the ball rolling early by launching some reforms pertaining to the structure and budget of the NSTDA, which is a research arm working under the science ministry.

"We do not have to wait for legal approval. We can start with the NSTDA. This agency will become a focal point for the new ministry," Mr Suvit said.

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