June 1: To provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs, and workshops across the country, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV). You can get more information on this scheme from its web portal www.acceleratevigyan.gov.in. Straight off the block, AV has already called for applications under its ‘ABHYAAS’ component for the Winter Season.
The primary objective of this inter-ministerial scheme is to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to research careers and knowledge-based economy. Recognizing that all research has its base as development of quality and well-trained researchers, AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshop on a national scale.
“The vision is to expand the research base, with three broad goals, namely, consolidation/aggregation of all scientific programs, initiating high-end orientation workshops, and creating opportunities for research internships for those who do not have access to such resources/facilities,” said Dr. Rajeev Mehajan, Advisor, SERB. The institution is also planning to launch an app for this in the coming two months.
As for the ‘ABHYAAS’ programme, it is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential PG/PhD students by means of developing their research skills in selected areas across different disciplines or fields. It has two components: High-End Workshops (‘KARYASHALA’) and Research Internships (‘VRITIKA’). This is especially important for those researchers who have limited opportunities to access such learning capacities / facilities / infrastructure. The current call for applications invites researchers for the winter season (Dec 2020-Jan 2021) ‘KARYASHALA’ and ‘VRITIKA’
“As part of this acceleration drive, there is a plan to organize about 1000 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 Dr Mehajan. Also, central coordination of internships in these institutions will provide opportunity to another 1000 potential postgraduate students every year.
The AV will work on mission mode, particularly with respect to its component dealing with consolidation / aggregation of all major scientific events in the country. Thus, an Inter-Ministerial Overseeing Committee (IMOC) involving all the scientific ministries/departments and a few others has been constituted for the purpose of supporting SERB in implementing the AV scheme in a successful manner.
The database of skilled manpower developed across different disciplines so generated and the final outcomes captured in the process through all the sub-components of the AV will serve the cause of all stakeholders in respect of capacity building in the country. The scheme also seeks to garner the social responsibility of the scientific community in the country. In a nutshell, the AV platform is expected to be a game changer for developing career paths and providing support to catalogue the development of skilled man-power.
Another new component under AV is ‘SAMMOHAN’ that has been sub-divided into ‘SAYONJIKA’ and ‘SANGOSHTI’. SAYONJIKA is an open-ended program to catalogue the capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country. SANGOSHTI is a pre-existing program of SERB.