The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the SERB-POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research) Scheme in India. The main objective of this project is to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research funding in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D Laboratories.

In this article, we shall discuss at length the objectives of the SERB-POWER scheme and its importance in the field of research and development for women scientists. Various other women empowerment schemes in India have been launched in the past few years, candidates can visit the linked article and learn more about them. 

This scheme is also important for candidates preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam and questions based on the same may be asked in the GS II paper, under education, women related issues, and government policies. 

SERB-POWER Scheme UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Crack the upcoming UPSC and Government exams with the latest news, study material, and preparation notes!! Refer to the links below:

About SERB-POWER Scheme

  • To mitigate the gender disparity in science and engineering research, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) launched the Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research (POWER) scheme, named SERB-POWER
  • It was launched on an e-platform and is specifically designed to empower women in the field of science, technology and engineering
  • The scheme comprises of two components: Research Grants and Fellowship
  • It will courage more women to take up a career in the field of science and create a more women friendly atmosphere in research and academic institutions
  • The project also aims at appointing more and more women in the decision making panels and promote women at leadership level

Visit the List of Government Schemes in India and get a comprehensive list of initiatives and projects launched by the Government for the betterment of people in the country. 

Components of SERB-POWER

The Science and Engineering Research Board, with the help of this project, intends to create a funding framework to empower women researchers. To achieve this goal, two main components of the scheme are essential. This includes:

  • SERB-POWER Fellowship
    • Target: Women researchers between the age of 35-55 years and up to 25 fellowships every year. Also, not more than 75 fellowships can be given at any point of time
    • Components of Support: Fellowship worth Rs.15,000 per month; a research grant of Rs. 10 lakhs per annum; and an additional overhead of Rs.90,000 per annum
    • Duration: Three years, without a possibility of extension
  • SERB-POWER Research Grants – The funding for women-led projects will be done on the basis of two level:
    • Level I: The scale of funding is upto 60 Lakhs for three years. This is applicable for candidates from Government Institutes, National Labs of these Institutes, IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, etc.  
    • Level II: The scale of funding is upto 30 Lakhs for three years. This is applicable for candidates studying in private of State Universities/Colleges
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Eligibility to apply for Research Grants and Fellowship under SERB-POWER

A certain set of eligibility rules have been prescribed by the Government authorities. Only the women researchers who qualify this criteria can apply for grants and fellowships:

  • The applicants must be an Indian citizen
  • Applicant must hold a regular academic/research position in any recognised academic Institution 
  • The terms of reference for Grants will be regulated as per the SERB-CRG guidelines
  • Both, Power Fellowship and Power Grants cannot be held by women scientists at the same time
  • Faculties recruited through UGC-Faculty Recharge Program are also eligible to apply

UPSC aspirants can also know more about the current situation of Women in Science Research & Development, at the linked article. 

About Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)

  • It is a statutory body and is established through an Act of Parliament: SERB Act 2008, Government of India
  • The Organisation aims to uplift science and engineering in India, in a manner that it can contribute majorly in the economic growth of the country
  • It is the premier research funding agency in India
  • Investigating and identifying the major areas of development and research 
  • Maintaining a disciplinary link between academic institutions, research labs, and industries promoting Science and Technology
  • Monitoring the development and implementation of various research projects

Multiple other statutory bodies have been set up in India. Candidates can refer to the links below and learn more about these organisations:

National Human Rights Commission National Commission for Minorities
National Council for Transgender Persons National Commission for Women
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) National Green Tribunal

Significance of SERB-POWER

With the introduction of this scheme, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) aims to invite more women scientists into the field of research and engineering.

One of the biggest significance of the SERB-POWER scheme is that it will build a gender-balanced working environment and cultivate women-friendly culture. 

It will also empower women scientists to adapt leadership qualities and work with decision making bodies. 

SERB-POWER Scheme UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Also, IAS aspirants can check the detailed section-wise UPSC syllabus for the upcoming exam at the linked article, and start their preparation accordingly. 

For further information regarding the Government exams, study material or notes for preparation, candidates can turn to BYJU’S for assistance. 

Other Related Links
Government Exams UPSC 2021
UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-II Strategy, Syllabus & Structure United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
Static GK UN Women – UPSC Notes


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