The government of Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) on Friday (17) dismissed the president of CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), João Luiz Filgueiras de Azevedo.
Azevedo, who had been fighting the emptying of the organ promoted by the government, was not notified in advance of his resignation and learned of the exoneration after the publication of the act in the Official Gazette of this Friday.
Researcher Evaldo Ferreira Vilela, former president of UFV (Federal University of Viçosa), takes over the body.
CNPq is linked to the MCTIC (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications), a portfolio headed by Marcos Pontes. The body is responsible for promoting scientific production in the country, with funding for projects and researchers. Until last year, CNPq paid 84 thousand scholarships.
Under the management of Pontes, the agency lost prestige in the institutional relationship within the portfolio and was demoted hierarchically – the president of CNPq stopped dispatching directly with the executive secretary of the portfolio and the dialogue started to occur with the Agency Management Coordination. Azevedo dispatched personally with the minister rarely.
CNPq also suffered a budget deficit. The item directed at promoting projects, for example, went from R $ 127 million in 2019 to R $ 16 million – the budget for scholarships in force in the year is guaranteed, according to the folder.
Last year, the government only managed resources for the payment of scholarships at the end of the year, and the amount allocated to the purchase of equipment, for example, had a sharp reduction. In 2020, the MCTIC passed over CNPq in the distribution of resources from the FNDCT (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development).
The ministry also excluded, in a March decree, the humanities from the priorities of research projects at CNPq until 2023. Questioned at the time by the leaf, the council replied that it would only follow the determinations of the portfolio.
After the bad repercussion of the measure among the scientific community, the portfolio edited a new act that partially reinstated the human sciences within the scope of priorities. Azevedo did not take a public stand against exclusion, but internally he argued that CNPq should remain a strong and independent agency.
MCTIC did not respond to questions from the leaf. The report sought out João Azevedo, who said he was taken aback by the dismissal but made no other comments.
Also in the Official Gazette this Friday, the appointment of the new secretary of Basic Education of the Ministry of Education, Ilona Becskeházy, was published. The previous incumbent, Janio Macedo, resigned after being worn out by Education Minister Abraham Weintraub.