India launches fellowship to combine academic research with industry needs

Last November, Jaipal Reddy, India’s new Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Science, launched the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research, being implemented jointly by the Science & Engineering Research Board and the Confederation of Indian Industry. With this initiative, 100 fellowships are to be awarded annually to research students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. The students are to partner with industry in order to pursue research that fulfills industrial needs. Speaking at a conference in New Delhi, Reddy said that “a seed is being sown today for a transformational change in the way research and development is being promoted in this country.”

“The scheme,” he said, “offers now a financial incentive for those who are able to align their research interests and engage their creative potentials to solving problems which are seeking solutions rather than to create solutions which would solve no one’s problems.” While lauding the recent 13–15% annual growth in research publications from Indian institutions, Reddy said that “the challenge is in the conversion of such knowledge into products of commercial value to the industrial users.”

Reddy said that within the next five years, he aims to bring India to the fifth position in Global Science and Technology from the current twelfth position. ☐

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India launches fellowship to combine academic research with industry needs. MRS Bulletin 38, 11 (2013).

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