AIR spotlight summary on “Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme”.
- The union cabinet approved‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)’ scheme in improving the quality of research by attracting the best talents across the country.
- 1,000 best students who have completed or are in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from IISc/IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIITs will be offered direct admission in PhD programme in the IITs/IISc. They will be offered a fellowship of Rs.70, 000/- per month for the first two years, Rs.75, 000/- per month for the 3rdyear, and Rs.80, 000/- per month in the 4th and 5th
- Apart from this, a research grant of Rs.2.00 lakh will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 years to enable them to participate in international research conferences and present research papers. A maximum of 3,000 Fellows would be selected in a three year period beginning 2018-19.
- The scheme will go a long way in tapping the talent pool of the country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains. The research undertaken by fellows under this scheme will address national priorities at one hand and shortage of quality faculty in premier education institutions of country on the other.
- By participating in international research conferences, the Indian researchers can get feedback on their researches, meet their peer group in foreign countries and get in touch with experts working in their area.
R&D in India
- The research in India has been lacking both in terms of quantity as well as quality. There have not been sufficient funds available for the research in all streams. In instances where funds have been released, the outcome of the research has not been satisfactory. As a result India has not been able to do much in the area of R&D at the university level.
- The present age is of technology, information and communication and things are progressing in a very fast manner. So research has become a very important component all over the world. Funding research and monitoring the qualitative outcomes is very important.
- There is lack of incubation centres in India. All over the world it is through the incubation centres where new ideas are developed and taken to the market which is lacking in India. Research in India is primarily linked to academics and promotion in jobs. Therefore the idea of innovation or the research which is useful for the industry or country as a whole is not considered by the researchers. There is a need for linkages with the private sector and the industry. Researchers need to have continuous interaction with the industry. The private sector also is not spending sufficient amount on R&D.
- We are too much dependent on technological collaboration from outside and the collaborators from outside are not keen to provide technological know-how and therefore it is important to have innovation and research ourselves.
- The international research papers presented from India is almost one tenth of china, very less compared to US and European countries. There has been lack of assurance for the researchers in terms of jobs and career development. Government funding and resources has been limited. The private sector participation is very low. So the research work has been self oriented. The R&D laboratories and infrastructure have been minimum. It is important to provide these facilities along with fellowships.
- The industry has a fear of spending huge amount on R&D without assured returns. There has to be a comprehensive approach where the government, private sector, academic institutions should take equal interest for research and innovation. There has to be a check on brain drain because government spends huge amount on the researcher.