Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has asked government agencies, including Department of Science & Technology, Technology Development Board and BIRAC, to reach out to potential Start-Ups and support them, in addition to offering support to those who themselves reach us. This way, we will not miss out on many a deserving innovative mind whose Start-Ups initiative may not have taken off because of inadequate support or resources, he said.
Addressing students and faculty at an interaction meeting on “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research” (INSPIRE) Program beneficiaries at Moradabad, UP, Dr Jitendra Singh called for launching a massive countrywide hunt for innovative young minds and potential Start-ups, as they are the ones going to shape India’s future economy.
The Minister highlighted that INSPIRE scheme is expanding R&D base of the country by building a pipeline of quality human resources and cultivating a talent pool. He emphasised that India needs to attract talented young students into science and give them a supportive, creative, and challenging educational environment from their school days so that they can become successful entrepreneurs and job givers through innovative ventures. More than 100 students / beneficiaries of INSPIRE Fellowships, INSPIRE Scholarships and INSPIRE-MANAK participated in the programme.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’, in May this Year, wherein Modi said, “Today India’s Startup ecosystem is not limited to just big cities, but entrepreneurs are emerging from smaller cities and towns as well which shows that in India, the one who has an innovative idea, can create wealth”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, as per various reports, about 50% of Startups hail from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, spanning many states and cities where opportunities and resources are comparatively less.
Taking a cue from Prime Minister’s call for right mentoring of Startups, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Department of Science and Technology will take up the mentorship role to promote start-ups in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities as wealth creators and problem solvers in varied areas like industries, agriculture, dairy sectors as well as in areas like E-commerce, Fin-Tech, Ed-Tech and Bio-Tech. He expressed satisfaction that Uttar Pradesh is fast catching up in the Start-up ecosystem, which was earlier mainly confined to Southern States.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, DST conceptualised, designed, developed, and is now implementing INSPIRE Scheme to attract meritorious youth to study natural sciences subjects at the college and university level and to pursue research careers in both basic and applied science areas including engineering, medicine, agriculture, and veterinary sciences. INSPIRE Scheme caters to students in the age group 10-32 years with several components.
Referring to INSPIRE Awards MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge), Dr Jitendra Singh said, this is a unique initiative to attract talented school students at an early age to study science and pursue research career apart from fostering a culture of innovation among them. Scheme caters to school children in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in Class 6-10. He said, INSPIRE Award MANAK scheme targets ten lakh ideas from more than five lakh middle and high schools across the country every year. Out of these, one lakh ideas are given INSPIRE Award of Rs. 10,000/-each. So far, more than 16 lakh students of 6-10th classes have presented their ideas on a national S&T platform.
Similarly, INSPIRE Internship aims to provide exposure to the top 1% students at Class X Board level by organising Science Camps either during summer or winter which provides them opportunity to interact with science icons from India and abroad, including Nobel Laureates, to experience the joys of scientific pursuit. Annually 50,000 students who are among the top one percent in their class X Board Examination and pursuing science in 11th class are benefited through these summer/ winter camps. So far, more than 1900 INSPIRE Internship Camps have been organised across the nation and about 4 lakh students of 11th & 12th classes availed this opportunity.
Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) component of INSPIRE aims to encourage meritorious students to study basic and natural sciences at undergraduate level through attractive scholarship and mentorship opportunities. Selections are based on performance (top 1%) in Class XII examinations of State/Central School Examination Boards and/or in selected national level competitive examinations like IIT-JEE etc. So far, more than 1.3 lakh Higher secondary students have been offered INSPIRE scholarships to pursue a career in natural and basic sciences.
INSPIRE Fellowship component offers 1000 Fellowships every year to bright students in the age group of 22-27 years to pursue Ph.D. in basic and applied sciences including engineering, medicine, agriculture and veterinary sciences. So far, around 10,000 fellowships have been awarded to postgraduate students for carrying out doctoral degrees in both basic and applied sciences for building research careers in S & T.
INSPIRE FACULTY FELLOWSHIP component provides opportunities to 100 persons every year with Ph.D. qualification in the age group of 27-32 years for 5 years to carry out post-doctoral research in both basic and applied science areas including engineering, medicine, agriculture and veterinary sciences. So far, around 1400 faculty fellowships were awarded to the young doctoral students to establish themselves as independent researchers in the Global S&T Community for building a career in Research and Development.