The projects supported by the Government are for pursuing indigenous research only.
Government has taken a number of steps in the 11th Five Year Plan to rejuvenate indigenous research in the country. About 3800 extra-mural research projects were sanctioned per year during the 11th Five Year Plan period.
The Government has established Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) as an autonomous body through an Act of Parliament. The creation of SERB would significantly enhance the level of basic research funding in the coming plans and also impart the necessary autonomy, flexibility and speed in shaping the research programmes and delivery of funds to researchers. The launch of new initiatives like Nano Mission, Mega Facilities, Open Source Drug Discovery, Translational research, Network Projects, National Biotechnology Development Strategy in the XI Plan period demonstrates the commitment of the Government to encourage, promote and develop an innovative ecosystem for indigenous research in the country.
The Government has put in several enabling mechanisms especially in the socio-economic development sector in the XI & XII Plan period. The Government supported several programmes in several States including Karnataka in the socio-economic sector that included waste management for value addition and income generation to rural people; water technology initiative; solar energy research initiative; and setting up Rural/ Women Technology Parks. Apart from these initiatives, the Government has also promoted R&D in emerging areas of Geo Information Science and Technology to develop methods and techniques for operationalising the concept of local level planning relating to the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies. Knowledge extensions to Society and Stake holders were refocused for their objectives and methodologies. The Ministry has taken steps to build synergy with socio-economic ministries in science and technology. Two new programmes for Technological Intervention for Addressing Societal Needs (TIASN) and Technological Intervention for Elderly (TIE) have been initiated by the Ministry during the end of 11th Plan period with the objective of developing technologies for societal benefit. Similarly, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) in its endeavor of ensuring enhanced participation of weaker sections of the society in research and development activities, has, at the beginning of the 12th Plan, implemented a special initiative “Empowerment and Equity Opportunities for Excellence in Science” through which it drives special programs to ensure enhanced participation of candidates belonging to SC/ ST community in the research and development field. These new initiatives and other ongoing programmes are aimed at providing technology to the weaker sections of the society so that they derive benefit in terms of enhanced income, reduced drudgery and in general an improved quality of life.
Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri S.Jaipal Reddy gave this information in reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha today.