State Committee for Science and Technology
CENTRAL REFERENCE SERVICE
In some areas, the State Committee for Science and Technology (GKNT)lear and powerful role in Soviet science; in other areas, especially in military research ond developmentts influence is less direct. Itmanages andUSSR scientific and technical literature,
and itey role in the establishment of foreign scientific and technical contacts. The
GKNTirect supervisory role over the priority projects that it administers (which account for roughly -percent of tho USSR's sciencend through its role in planning and funding, it has indirect influence over the remaining Sovietffort, which is funded by the otherercent of the science budget.
Tho GKHT's major activity, and its major problem, is one of coordinating and maximizingffort that crosses bureaucratic lines of powerful Ministries and the prestigious Academy of Sciences. Moreover, the GKNT must presumably compete with thestablishment for scientists and research facilities of the highest caliber. Its effectiveness in these areas is greatly dependent on its Chairman and the extent of his influence and power.
The GKNTentral planning androle in the large and complex soviet scientific bureaucracy. Broad scientific policy is set by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Research and development is controlled in tho governmentalby the Council of Ministers and administered by various agencies under tho Council, including the GKNT. The GKNT is tho principal civilian agency
charged withnified nationaland technical policy on non-defense-related matters. ey individual in this structure is
f V. A. Xirillin, who is tho Council of Ministers Deputy Chairman for science and who is also
[ Chairman of the GKNT.
Pursuant to directives from the Party and government, the GKNT has four major tasksi and implementation of an overall plan for Soviet civilian-oriented scientific and technical development; maximization of research efficiency by coordinating interbranch efforts and overseeing the introduction of new technology into the USSR economy} management of scientific and technical information; and establishment of scientific and technical relations with foreign countries.
A recent outgrowth of its foreign contacts prerogative has been tho designation of the GKNT as the administrator of activities undertaken in support of the US-USSR agreement on cooperation in science and technology. Chairman Kirillin heads the Soviet side of the joint commission thatand operates the exchanges. Certain GKNT department chiefs direct working groups established in fields designated for cooperative ventures.
The GKNT is composedhairman, three First Deputy Chairmen and fivo Deputy Chairmen. These individuals, together with two representatives from the USSR Academy of Sciences and five GKNThoods, form themember collegium, or governing body, which meets weekly. Day-to-day work of the GKNT is handled by the staff, which includesember departments. General issues, such as trends in science and technology, are discussed in meetings of the GKNT proper, which is composed of nearlyembers, representing all aspects of the scientific bureaucracy, and meets quarterly.
Determining Soviet Science Policy
The GKNT has primary responsibility for research on priority projects agreed on by the committeeand approvod by the government for inclusion in the Five Yoar Plan. These projects (which number, according to Chairman Kirillin) arenon-defense-related problems. The projects--for which aboutercent of the science budget isare multidisciplinary in scope and involve the efforts of Committees, Ministries and the USSR Academy of Sciences. The GKNTand monitors research on the projects. It designates the main research facility and then requests continual feedback of information. (or lack thereof) is examined by tho GKNT staff, which regularly reports to the GKNT collegium.
The GKNT alsoole in the long-range planning of Soviet scientific research. Theand Ministries submit their research goals to the GKNT for consideration, suggestions and approval. The academy prepares its own research plans but often takes the GKNT's comments into consideration. In planning, the GKNT works closely with the USSR State Planning Committeehich is responsible for molding the scientific and technical plans into the overall economic plan. Once plans are approved by"the government and the Party, the GKNT reviews implementation of the plans and is empowered to alter them to achieve greater efficiency.
The Funding Process
The GKNT's real power is in the overseeing of funds in its sector. The academy. Committees and Ministries submit their annual budgetary proposals to the GKNT, which, in coordination with theof Finance and Gosplan,unding level for each major agency. While funds aredisbursed to individual agencies, the GKNT retains authority to review the expenditures
certain Instances, particularly whenof effort isrequest that the resources be reallocated. The GKHT may order nonproductive research facilities to close and must approve the establishment of any new Soviet research facility.
Organization of Information
The GKHT's management of scientific and technical information is relatively simple in comparison with its other tasks. Its responsibility is exercised primarily through the subordinate All-Unionof Scientific and Technical Information he largest abstracting and indexing enterprise in the world (more thanhousand employeesJ. In addition to VINITI, the GKNT oversees other, smaller information institutes dedicated to specificresearch fields, administers several scientific and technical libraries and publishes annual lists of new developments in fundamental research.
Coordinating Inter-Agency Research
The GKNT's taekfi in planning and maximizing research efficiency are more complicated. In3 Chairman Kirillin spokeS visitor about his difficulties. One major difficulty concerned "cross-Ministry"and technical problems that involved an industryinistry, or more than one Ministry. GKNT coordinationas complicated in these cases because each Ministry had its own networkacilities. Chairman Kirillin evidenced general dissatisfaction with productivity of research establishments within this vast scientificthat he was apparently unable to improve measurably. He indicated that it was not always possible to close obsolete andestablishments.
Scientific Contacts with foreign Countries
The GKNT's responsibility for establishing foreign scientific and technical contacts is also
hampered by bureaucratic obstacles. While the GKNT has signed cooperative agreementsajority of the industrial nations and has dealt with private firms, it shares tho responsibility for negotiating contracts for the importation of foreign technology with other Soviet Government agencies.
The GKNT's international activity is under the aegis of Deputy Chairmanvishiani (son-in-law of Soviet Premierho has battled both the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for primacyiven negotiation. Although the GKNT must cooperate with the other agencies in technology importation, it does have the specific power toequest fromarticular import.
The Position of the Chairman
GKNT Chairman V. A. Kirillin has impressive credentials for his position. His varied background encompasses scientific research and scientific, governmental and Party administrative work. His
dual positions as GKNT head and Deputy Premier
for science qivo him extensive authority.f
Another factor (peculiar to tho USSR) is the way in which the Academy of Sciences is regarded by bureaucrats and politicians. Academicians (many of whom direct research institutes) have aniche in Soviet society and are accustomed to asserting and exerting their authority. It could bo that the GKNT Chairman is called upon toeacemaking role--reconciling the demands of the academicians with those of the government Ministers. If this were theoderate personality would be more effectiveynamic one.