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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1100
ANSWERED ON:  07.02.2020
Adequate Funds to SSTCs
Achyutananda Samanta
Will the Minister of



SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-


Will the Minister of SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ??????? ?? ???????????? ??????
be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government proposes to introduce a framework wherein adequate funds are provided to State Science and Technology Councils (SSTCs), if so, the details thereof;

(b) whether the Government is considering to increase the number of professionals and students inducted into Science and Technology research by providing them access to research labs and better salaries/incentives; and

(c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?



ANSWER
(a) Yes Sir. Government of India through Department of Science & Technology has already developed a framework for providing adequate funds to State S&T Councils (SSTCs) in the country. Department of Science & Technology has been implementing State S&T Programme in all States/UTs through SSTCs established for the purpose of developing S&T ecosystem in the country. The main aim of the programme is to facilitate SSTCs to play a catalytic role of linking Centre and State for developing and implementing State specific Science & Technology intervention, technology development and demonstration programmes/projects. The details of funds provided to State S&T Councils under the programme during last three years are given in the table below:

Rs. In Lakhs
Financial Year 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20* Total
State S&T Councils 2303.58 2215.65 3510.37 8029.60


*2019-20 grant in aid has been increased to Rs.3510.37 lakh, which include Rs. 2582.73 lakh for Core S&T Human Resources, Rs.47.64 lakh for minor office equipments, Rs. 280.0 lakh for Mapping of S&T needs of the States/UTs to all SSTCs and Rs. 600 lakh towards Project Related Grant to some of the well performing SSTCs in the States of Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Telangana.

(b) & (c): Ministry of Science & Technology through Department of Science &Technology in the Union Government is implementing “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Scheme” since 2008 to increase the number of professionals and students inducted in to Science and Technology research by providing them access to research labs and better scholarships/fellowships and research grants. It provides scholarships/fellowships and research grants to talented and meritorious students to pursue a career in S&T Research and Development. This scheme is having the three components as per details given below:

The Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) component of INSPIRE aims to enhance rates of attachment of talented youth to undertake higher education in science-intensive programmes by providing scholarships and mentoring through summer attachment with performing researchers. The scheme offers 12,000 scholarships every year @ Rs 0.80 lakh per year for undertaking Bachelor’s and Master’s level education in natural and basic sciences to meritorious students in the age group of 17-22 years. The main feature of the scheme is mentorship support provided to every scholar. So far, about 90,000 students have availed SHE Scholarships for pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s level education in natural and basic sciences.

The INSPIRE Fellowship component of INSPIRE offers 1000 INSPIRE Fellowships every year to students in the age group of 22-27 years, for pursuing doctoral degree in both basic and applied sciences including engineering, agriculture, veterinary and medicine. For the first two years INSPIRE fellows are paid fellowship amount equivalent to Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) i.e., Rs.31,000/pm + HRA + Contingency grant of Rs.20,000/year. After evaluation of two years’ research work, an INSPIRE Fellow can be promoted as a Senior Research Fellow. The promoted INSPIRE Fellow is then paid fellowship amount equivalent to Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) i.e., Rs.35000/pm + HRA + Contingency grant of Rs.20,000/year. So far, about 8500 INSPIRE Fellows have been awarded INSPIRE fellowships to pursue Ph.D. programs in S & T.

The INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship component provides an opportunity every year to 100 post- doctoral scientists in the age group of 27-32 years for carrying out 5 years of independent research at any recognized university/ academic institutions/ laboratory in the country in both basic and applied sciences. It grants an attractive fellowship for a duration of 5 years with a consolidated emolument of Rs.1,25,000/- p.m. and a research grant up to Rs.7 lakhs per annum. So far, 1265 INSPIRE Faculty Fellows have availed these fellowships to pursue a career in Research and Development.

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