With the objective of attracting best talents in science, in the year 2008, the Government had formulated and initiated a programme entitled ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research’ (INSPIRE). This programme is continuing in the 12th plan period. Apart from this, the ‘Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana’ (KVPY) scheme, of the Department of Science and Technology, being implemented by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore also aims to attract talents for science.
INSPIRE programme, including Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE), has five components namely,
(i) INSPIRE Awards – wherein two lakhs students selected every year from schools are given Rs. 5000 for making Science projects/models and exhibiting the same at District, State, Regional and National level exhibitions.
(ii) INSPIRE Internship - wherein 50,000 students are exposed every year for interactions with eminent scientists and academicians including Nobel laureates through Science camps organized by various Academic/Research Institutions all over India.
(iii) Scholarship for Higher Education – 10,000 scholarships, each valued at Rs. 80000 per year are awarded annually for study of Basic/Natural Sciences at the BSc - MSc/Int. MSc levels. Scholars are exposed to research at the early stage of their career by means of undertaking short term research projects.
(iv) INSPIRE Fellowship – 1000 Fellowships are awarded annually to first rank holders at the University level Post-graduate examination, for pursuing PhD degree.
(v) INSPIRE Faculty Award – 1000 Tenure track Research Positions in Universities/Research Labs/Academic Institutions are awarded annually for pursuing an independent research career in science and applied Sciences.
Though INSPIRE programme including Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) does not have any special provision for SC/ST students, it captures the enrolment of the SC/ST students into all its components in a natural way. The details are given below.
(i) INSPIRE Award: 24.81% of INSPIRE Awardees belong to SC/ST communities.
(ii) INSPIRE Scholarship: 1061 SC/ST students so far awarded scholarships.
(iii) INSPIRE Fellowship: 28 SC/ST students awarded.
(iv) INSPIRE Faculty Award: 5 students awarded.
Apart from this, under ‘Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana’ (KVPY) scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, 100 SC/ST students were offered the KVPY Fellowships in the year 2012-13 as a special measure towards empowerment of these students.