Science & Technology

Union govt flags off ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ scheme to push scientific research

The scheme will strive to boost high-end scientific research and prepare scientific manpower that can venture into research careers 

 
By Jyoti Singh
Published: Wednesday 01 July 2020
AV aims to strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring and training on a national scale.Photo: Vikas Choudhary

Providing a thrust to high-end scientific research; a platform for research internships and capacity-building programs; preparing scientific manpower — these are some objectives of ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV) launched by the Union government’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).

The scheme aims to initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and giving hands-on workshops on a national scale.

“The vision is to expand the research base with three broad goals: consolidation / aggregation of all scientific programmes; initiating high-end orientation workshops; and creating opportunities for research internships for those who do not have access to such resources,” said Rajeev Mehajan, advisor, SERB.

The institution is also planning to launch an app in about two months. Accelerate Vigyan has already starting calling applications under its ‘ABHYAAS’ component for the winter season.

ABHYAAS is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential post-graduate / PhD students by developing their research skills in select areas.

It has two components: High-end workshops (‘KARYASHALA’) and research internships (‘VRITIKA’). This is especially important for those who have limited opportunities to access such learning capacities / infrastructure.

The current call for applications invites researchers for the winter season (December 2020-January 2021) ‘KARYASHALA’ and ‘VRITIKA’.

“There is a plan to organise about 1,000 high-end workshops (dedicated to certain themes) to provide opportunities to about 25,000 postgraduate and doctoral students in the next five years, in collaboration with premier scientific institutions and laboratories,” said Mehajan.

Central coordination of internships in these institutions will provide opportunity to another 1,000 potential postgraduate students every year.

“There is very less talk about safe lab practices in the country under this programme. We want to address that,” added Mehajan. 

The Union government scheme will work on mission mode, particularly with respect to its component dealing with consolidation / aggregation of all major scientific events in the country. An inter-ministerial overseeing committee involving all scientific ministries / departments and a few others has been constituted to support SERB in implementing the scheme.

The database of skilled manpower developed across different disciplines so generated and the final outcomes captured in the process through all sub-components of the scheme will serve the cause of all stakeholders in respect of capacity building in the country.

The scheme also seeks to garner social responsibility of the scientific community in the country.

Another component under AV is ‘SAMMOHAN’, which has been sub-divided into ‘SAYONJIKA’ and ‘SANGOSHTI’. Sayonjika is an open-ended programme to catalogue capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country. Sangoshti is a pre-existing program of SERB. India Science Wire

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