UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme
The Union Cabinet recently decided to implement “Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme” in order to promote research with the focus on national priorities by initiating research in cutting-edge technologies and science areas. It is a public-private partnership (PPP) between Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), which is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The scheme aims at improving the quality of research by attracting the best talents across the country and reducing brain drain. Under the scheme, around 1000 students who have completed B.Tech or integrated M.Tech or M.sc in Science and Technology streams or are in the final year, will be offered direct admission into the PhD programme, post the selection process, in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)/ Indian Institute of Science (IISc) with a fixed amount of fellowship for five years. Apart from this, a research grant of Rs.2 lakhs will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 years in order to enable them to participate in international research conferences and present research papers. A maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in a three year period. The government provides necessary budgetary support to all Institutions including IITs and IISc, inter-alia for up-gradation of research.
For attracting highly skilled researchers and scientists to pursue their R&D interests in Indian Institutions, several initiatives have been launched such as: Faculty Recharge Programme, CV Raman Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme by University Grants Commission (UGC), Ramanujan Fellowship, JC Bose Fellowship, Swarnjayanti Fellowship, Young Scientist Project Award, Women Scientist Scheme by Department of Science & Technology (DST), and Ramalinga Swami Re-entry Fellowship by Department of Biotechnology.
Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB)
Science & Engineering Research Board is a statutory body established through an Act of Parliament. Supporting basic research in emerging areas of Science & Engineering are the primary mandate of the Board. The Board is vested with both financial and administrative powers to enable quicker decisions on research issues, greatly improving thereby our responsiveness to the genuine needs of the research scientists and the S&T system.
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