New Delhi, January 24: Minister for Science and Technology, on Wednesday launched four new schemes which seek to help young researchers to realise their potential more fully for their own benefit as well as for the betterment of the society at large.
The first initiative called Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence (TARE) Scheme aims to tap the latent potential of faculty working in state universities, colleges and private academic institutions who are well trained but have difficulty in pursuing their research due to varied reasons including lack of facilities, funding and guidance.
The scheme facilitates mobility of such faculty members to carry out research in well established public funded institutions such as IITs, IISc, IISERS and other National Institutions including NITs, CSIR, ICAR, ICMR laboratories and Central Universities located preferably nearer to them. Upto 500 teachers will be supported under this scheme.
The second initiative called Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship will seek to enhance the international mobility of Indian research students with a view to create a pool of globally trained manpower. The scheme will provide opportunities for research students to access top class research facilities in academia and laboratories across the world. This scheme will offer fellowships for up to 100 Ph.D. students admitted in the Indian institutions to take up training in overseas universities and institutions of repute working in areas of importance for the country for periods up to 12 months during their doctoral research.
The selected students will be paid a monthly fellowship equivalent to US $ 2,000 and one-time contingency or preparatory allowances of Rs. 60,000 to cover expenses such as visa fee, airport transfer charges, medical insurance and airfare.
The third initiative is designed to recognize and reward Principal Investigators (PIs) of projects funded by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) under the Department of Science and Technology, who have performed remarkably well. Called SERB Distinguished Investigator Award (DIA), the scheme would be a one-time career award devised to specifically cater to the younger scientists who have not received any other prestigious awards or fellowships. The award carries a fellowship of Rs. 15,000 per month and an optional research grant for three years, based on peer review of the project proposal submitted.
The fourth initiative called AWSAR (Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research) is designed to encourage, empower and endow popular science writing through newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media, etc. by young Ph.D. Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows during the course of their higher studies and research pursuits.
Over 20,000 youth are awarded Ph.D. in S&T every year in India and the scheme aims to tap this tremendous potential to popularize and communicate science and also to inculcate scientific temperament in the masses.
The scheme put together by the National Council of Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) offers a monetary incentive of Rs.10,000 each for 100 best entries for research scholars in a year along with a Certificate of Appreciation. Besides, the Ministry will take special steps to get the top stories published/projected in mass media and three leading stories from the selected hundred would be awarded a cash prize of Rs.100,000, Rs.50,000 and Rs.25,000 respectively. Twenty entries would be selected from articles submitted exclusively by Post-Doctoral Fellows relating to their research for the monetary incentive of Rs.10,000 each and the most outstanding story to be given a cash prize of Rs.100,000.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the schemes have been launched with a view to tap the vast potential of the young scientific workforce in the country. They would be implemented from February 1. “Science and technology of the country has been progressing rapidly in the recent few years and the Department of Science and Technology has played a pivotal role in it promotion through various programmes and dynamic policy interventions across the scientific ecosystem. The new initiatives are designed to strengthen them further”, he added. (India Science Wire)