Tuesday, August 14, 2012

AICTE to dole out funds to promote research clusters

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will soon dole out Rs. 350 million — an amount which would be matched by India Inc — to state governments to support an aided institute in each state to become a research park.

The academia-industry collaboration seeks to improve the quality of research in the country by enhancing the investment on research and development (R&D) to 1.5% of the GDP from the current level of 0.8% of GDP besides ensuring transfer of knowledge from universities to industry and vice versa.

“We and the industry partner will each provide seed money of Rs. 10 million to each state for setting up research parks. However, these state aided institutes will be those other than the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs),” S S Mantha, Chairman, AICTE told FE.

The proposed scheme seeks to provide financial assistance to institutions for setting up a research park in collaboration with the industry or a group of industries. At present, close to 0.7% of the total number of students in are enrolled for research and out of the total research students (83,000), 86% are in the universities.

In return, the institute will have to provide 300-500 sq m built up area for setting up research facilities in the institute premises to receive funding under this scheme. While the industry will pass on their research and innovation work to the institute, the students and teaching faculties of the institute would be required to work on ideas for converting into successful technological innovations and outcome based projects.

“The industry academia collaboration in research and innovation will also help in developing cluster institutes regionally wherein the neighbouring institutes and industries can also join the activity,” he added. In another move to boost research output in the country, the council plans to place the top 100 research students at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)laboratories.

The two schemes are in line with the government’s broader plan to improve the status of research in India which also includes outcome based research financing, liberal research grants, incubation centers and lab – classroom linkages, among others.

Source: The Financial Express, August 14, 2012

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