Minister of State for Planning, Science &Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Ashwani Kumar stated in Lok Sabha today that Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) was approved by Government of India for implementation through Department of Science & Technology to promote science and attract talents for pursuing career in research. The scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st December, 2008.
The Minister said that the basic objective of INSPIRE is to attract talents and motivate them for studying science from an early age and pursuing career in research and help to build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the S & T and R & D base in the country. It is a program with a long term foresight.
The Minister further stated that the program has three components i.e., i) Scheme for early Attraction of Talent (SEATS) for Science, ii) Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) and iii) Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) covering an age-group of 10-32 years of students. The INSPIRE Fellowship for pursuing doctoral research is the first component of “Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC)” scheme of the INSPIRE program. This component was initiated in January 2010 and during the last two years of implementation, 1417 Fellowships have been awarded for pursuing doctoral research at the various Universities/ Institutes and Laboratories in the country.
Dr. Ashwani Kumar said that this has already been extended for researchers doing post-doctoral activities. INSPIRE Faculty Award, which is the second component of the ‘Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC)’ scheme of INSPIRE Program, provides opportunity to the students of Indian origin including NRI/ PIO status, who are within 32 years of age and completed their doctoral research from any recognized University/ academic institution in any part of the World. Each INSPIRE Faculty Awardee receives an amount of Rs. 80,000 per month with an annual increment of 3.3% along with Rs. 7 lakh per year as Research Grant for 5 years. This component was initiated in July, 2011 and during one year of its operation, a total 74 INSPIRE Faculty Awards were offered. Out of this, 14 candidates were from abroad pursuing their doctoral as well as post-doctoral activities.