The Minister of State for Planning, Science &Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Ashwani Kumar today informed the members of Rajya Sabha about a program “INSPIRE”. The details are as follows as given by the Minister in a written reply.
“Under the INSPIRE Award component of the programme, 2 students are selected from each school of the country (including private schools) having classes VI to X, during a Five Year Plan period for an INSPIRE Award of Rs.5000/- each for preparing a Science Project/Model. The Scheme is implemented through the States/UTs and the award warrants are issued in the name of student and sent to them through the State/UT Government. The awardees participate in the District Level Exhibitions and Project Competitions (DLEPCs) and best 5-10% entries in the District are selected for participation in the State Level Exhibitions and Project Competitions (SLEPCs). Best 5% entry from the State/UT, subject to a minimum of 5, are selected to participate in the National Level Exhibitions and Project Competition (NLEPC). The entire cost of organising exhibitions and project competitions at District and State Level is borne by the Ministry. Under this component, so far 67336 INSPIRE Awards have been sanctioned to the students from the state of Maharashtra at a total cost of Rs.33.67 crores. In addition, an amount of Rs.11.68 crores has been sanctioned to the Government of Maharashtra for organising DLEPCs, SLEPCs and meeting part of expenditure in connection with NLEPC.
Under Inspire Internship component, science students of Class XI standard are provided an opportunity to attend a five-day Science Camp for interaction with national and international scientists/academicians. Since initiation of this component in December 2008, 49 Science Camps were organized at various academic institutions in Maharashtra and 16450 students attended in these Science Camps. An amount of Rs.9.62 crores was spent for organizing such Science Camps.
In Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) under INSPIRE, Scholarships are provided for five years to the meritorious students for pursuing science courses at the under-graduate level in various colleges/universities/academic institutions in the country. Since 2008, 836 students were awarded the INSPIRE scholarship under SHE and an amount of Rs.9.25 crores were spent for this purpose for the State of Maharashtra.
The INSPIRE Fellowship for pursuing doctoral research for 5 years to 1st rank holders at the university level examinations in any branch of science, applied science, engineering, medicine, agriculture and was initiated in January 2010. During the last two years of implementation, 73 Fellowships were awarded for pursuing doctoral research at various Universities/ Institutes/Laboratories in the Maharashtra State and an amount of Rs.1.91 crores were released for this purpose.
INSPIRE Faculty Award provides an opportunity for continuing of post-doctoral research activities for five years to the students of Indian origin, including NRI/ PIO status who are within 32 years of age and have completed their doctoral research from any recognized University/ academic institution in the World. This component was initiated in July, 2011 and during one year of operation, a total of five INSPIRE Faculty Awards have been sanctioned to the students in various academic institutions in Maharashtra State by sanctioning Rs.59 lakhs for this purpose”.