Initiatives to improve research eco-system in the country

QUES. Discuss about the various initiatives taken by the Government to improve overall research eco-system in the country.

As per latest R&D Statistics released by the National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Research & Development (R&D) expenditure in India tripled during the period from 2004-05 to 2014-15.

Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to enhance investment in R&D as well as to promote and improve the overall research eco-system in the country.

These include Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY), which promotes industry sponsored, outcome-oriented research with an outlay of Rs.475.00 crore. 25% of the funds under UAY are contributed by the Industry. Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) focuses on socially relevant research in higher educational institutions with a budget provision of Rs.487 crore.

Establishment of 9 research parks at a total cost of Rs.775 crore, 8 of them being in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and one in Indian Institute of Science (IISc). These research parks will propel innovation through incubation and joint research between academia and industry.

Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme launched with an outlay of Rs.1650 crore incentivises the most meritorious students to pursue research in the frontier areas of science & technology by offering attractive rates of fellowship from Rs.70,000/- to Rs.80,000/- per month in addition to research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh per year for five years.