Incentives for the Bright

Ample funds are available to facilitate research in science
: Ample funds are available to facilitate research in science

THE government is supporting over 4,288 research institutions and there is no paucity of funds for attracting, encouraging and supporting science research in India through several schemes and research funding. Some of these include:

INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research& Education) Programme: To attract talented students to science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for science research, the Government has started INSPIRE Scheme at three hierarchical levels. Under this scheme, young boys and girls start getting a scholarship right after Plus II and can avail of this till the completion of their Ph.D Even thereafter meritorious students get jobs in the institutions of their choice.

Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY): It encourages young students of sciences, engineering and medicine to take up careers in research. It provides a generous scholarship (up to the pre-Ph.D level) apart from preferential access to facilities such as libraries, laboratories.

Integrated Science Olympiad Programme: This aims at promoting excellence in science among Plus II students and selects teams to represent India at the respective International Olympiads in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

Better Opportunities for Young Scientists in Chosen Areas of Science and Technology (BOYSCAST): It provides opportunities to young Indian scientists/technologists below the age of 35 years to visit reputed institutions abroad for exposure to latest research techniques.

Swarnajayanti Fellowships Scheme: Promising young scientists, between 30-40 years, get monthly fellowships of Rs 25,000 in addition to usual salary and research grant for five years.

JC Bose National Fellowship: Promising irrespective of age get monthly fellowships of Rs 25,000 in addition to salary and Rs 10 lakh per year research grant for five years.

Women Scientists Programmes: Women scientists aged between 30-50 years, who had to leave scientific research for any reason are encouraged to return to the stream.

Fast-Track Scheme for Young Scientists: This scheme of DST is to facilitate encourage and nurture young scientists below 35 years by providing quick research support.

DST Schools on Mathematical Modelling in Earth System Sciences: It is to develop manpower in mathematical modeling and computer simulation in Earth System Sciences.

Scheme for Committed Young Professionals: This scheme carries research project grants to young scientists (up to 35-40 years of age) for attempting the implementation of an idea, or developing new techniques for solving problems that donít have a clear solution at present.

Summer School Training Programmes for Young Scientists: The three science academies of India provide opportunities to budding scientists to gain research training in accomplished labs during summer vacations.

INSA Young Scientist Medal Award: Indian National Science Academy awards prestigious Gold Medal in each branch of science to promising young scientists every year.

ó R. K. Kohli

Other Choices

Forensic Science: A very exciting field related to investigation of crime with much demand in legal matters. Forensic experts work closely with the police and private detectives and the governments.

Geology: In some of the Universities BSc degree in geology (study of earth and environment), anthropology, home science is offered to Plus II from any stream.

Biochemistry: (dealing with chemical reactions within living beings) has a great demand in medical research and every branch of life science.

Biotechnology (the use of biological organisms for technological improvement) holds promise in genetic engineering, vaccine production, production engineering, pharmaceutical industry, food industry, agriculture, etc.

Biophysics (a bridge between biology and physics that makes use of the principles of physics in living organisms) is in demand in radiation research, instrumentation, medical research pharmaceutical industry and diagnostics.

Bioinformatics (a study that applies information science and digital language/computer in studying the molecular mechanisms or interpreting biological data for quick and accurate analysis) is often applied in molecular biology and genetics, proteomics, enzymology, metabolomics drug designing, pharma industry, gene and protein sequencing and host of modern biological researches.

System Biology is a science that involves understanding a biological organism in a holistic manner instead of individual component and coordinating them. It integrates all sciences in understanding biology.

Nanoscience (dealing with nano-scale material of excessive use in science) and nanotechnology used nano-size material for technological advancement are other science fields which almost ever university and research institution is attempting with encouragement from the government.

At present the focus is on life sciences, including basic branches like botany, zoology, microbiology. Life sciences are gaining interest in derived/applied branches like biochemistry, biotechnology, biophysics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, system biology, wildlife, forestry, floriculture, horticulture, silvi-culture and the likes.