Wild thoughts pay

Published: Monday 15 January 1996

INDIA may have many C V Ramans or I C Boses hidden among its scientists who are waiting in the wings to get the right break. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched a New Idea Fund to facilitate research activities based on wild and crazy ideas that may be waiting to be tapped in its scientists.

The fund has already set the grey cells ticking in many a scientist. CSIR has received an encouraging response from its scientists within days of setting up of the fund. If any of these ideas proves pathbreaking, then it would also mean to be a windfall in terms of commercial potential and patent generation. According to CSIR director general R A Mashelkar, the fund will promote an " unconventional way of thinking" and generate "ideas of explosive creativity."

At present, only Rs 50 lakhs has been allocated for the fund though, the amount is likely to be increased if the scientists come up with exceptionally bright and original ideas. The council has formed an expert group chaired by R Kumar of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to screen the ideas and select those showing possibilities. The shortlisted ideas are expected to be announced shortly.

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