Government have taken several measures to promote science and technology education in the North-Eastern States including Sikkim. Some of substantive measures taken in science and technology education include:
Department of Science and Technology (DST): Special package for Strengthening Science Education in North-Eastern Region (NER) which include: Support to 58 Colleges for equipments, laboratory renovations, etc.; Institution of fellowships / Visiting Professorships; Summer / Winter Schools for students; Support for teaching equipment to Universities in NER etc. Through a special scholarship scheme titled “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)” aimed to attract talented youth to study science and pursue careers in research, DST has awarded about 4300 INSPIRE Awards at school level, 52 Inspire Fellowships for doing PhD and 74 Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) and organized sixteen INSPIRE Internship camps for about 2600 students from NER.
Department of Biotechnology (DBT): has implemented M.Sc./M. Tech teaching programs in Biotechnology in five Universities, Support to 10 Universities and Colleges towards strengthening of infrastructure, Recognition of five Colleges as Star Colleges for strengthening UG education in Life Sciences and nurturing excellence, Overseas Associate and National Association Programmes specifically in the North-Eastern region.
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE): Conducted awareness programmes in science and technology with particular reference to nuclear science and technology; Offered 8 scholarships to meritorious students of Meghalaya to pursue B. Tech in Mining Engineering at NIT Suratkal; and Setting up areas of Advance Knowledge Rural Technology Implementation (AKRUTI). A programme under an MOU for collaboration in the field of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology has been taken up with Tripura State Council for Science and Technology.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR): CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science (CPYLS) has enrolled around 150 students from various schools. Science Motivation programme, Faculty training and motivation programme, CSIR-Workshop and Training have been programmed for NER students.
Government have promoted technology development and dissemination of technological knowledge, thereby improving the employability of the North Eastern youth in science and technology sector, focused primarily on deriving value from natural resources of the region, and by providing S&T based solutions. The National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA) of DST has provided support in setting up of bamboo processing units at the grass root level. NMBA has supported development of several technologies, products and processes using bamboo processing and set up incubation of bamboo processing units. Skill development programmes for building the necessary capabilities have also been supported. DBT also has introduced several schemes to improve the employability of the North Eastern youth especially in biotechnology. This includes: Biotechnology Industrial trainings for fresh Post Graduate students, Entrepreneur development programme in Biotechnology, School students training on Natural Resource Awareness, On-line Library resource access facility for school students, Strengthening of Post Graduate and Ph.D. Programs in Agri-Biotechnology, Farmer’s training in organic farming through biotech inputs etc.
Several Departments including DST, DBT, DAE have sponsored several research projects in universities of the NER covering a wide spectrum of topics in science and technology. Several researchers working in these projects have earned their Ph.Ds and have won Young Scientist Research Awards. Realizing the importance and urgency of socio-economic development of NER, the Department of Space (DOS), jointly with the North Eastern Council (NEC) has established state-of-the-art infrastructure for space technology. DOS is also establishing a network of village resource centres, satellite based telemedicine nodes, and satellite interactive centres that would connect the region with the space technology.
The Centre for Plasma Physics and Institute of Advanced study in Science and Technology, two Government of Assam Research Institutes have been taken over by the Central Government with a view to expand and enhance the research capability of these Institutes. DBT has instituted Overseas Associateship and Research Associateship Programmes, over 40 Biotech Hubs for Universities, institutions and colleges and Biotech Parks for entrepreneur development in Biotechnology. North Eastern Bioinformatics Network (NEBInet) connecting 26 institutions in NER and International collaboration under EU-India to promote scientific excellence in NE States are aimed at enhancing the research capability of the region.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Ashwani Kumar in a written reply to a question by Shri Prem Das Rai in Lok Sabha today.