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7th July 2023 (7 Topics)

National Research Foundation’s vision: A chance at genuine innovation

Context

The Central government has finally given clearance to the establishment of National Research Foundation (NRF) as recommended by National Education Policy 2020.

Need for NRF

  • Static Funding- The number of doctoral students increased significantly. However, the overall funding under extramural grants has remained static.
  • Research in new areas - A competitive grant system provides the necessary leeway to accelerate research in new and emerging areas.
  • Prevalent amongst all developed countries- Almost all the developed countries and newly emerged economies of East Asia have a very strong competitive grant system which helps them in creating a strong research base.

Goals of the NRF

  • Promote the culture of Research-NRF will seed, grow and promote research and development (R&D)
  • Accelerate Innovation- It will foster a culture of innovation throughout Indian universities, colleges, institutions, and R&D laboratories
  • Need-based research- It will bring focus on need-based research and help support research in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences and social sciences.

Way Forward

  • Time-bound, ICT-based system -The first task of NRF administration should be to implement a time-bound, ICT-based system for managing the projects and disbursing a grant of Rs 3,000 crore in the launch year of NRF, hopefully 2023-24.
  • Wide discussion- The suggestions given by academies to improve the R & D ecosystem should be discussed more widely within the scientific community.
  • Procedural Changes- Discussions should also be done on the procedural changes that will make the NRF-run competitive grant system a grand success.
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