With an estimated funding of Rs 1,350 crores in the next five years, the Ministry of Science and Technology wants to launch a new programme titled INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit of Inspired Research) to attract talented young persons towards careers in science.
In a press conference in the Capital on Friday, Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal pointed out that unless the supply chain of talent being attracted to science education and research is strengthened urgently, India could face a major challenge in the knowledge-based economies.
The Department of Science and Technology has therefore come out with the scheme of INSPIRE to offer science as a career option by providing necessary opportunities for youth with aptitude for careers seeking innovation and psychic delight in addition to reasonable income.
The scheme includes three elements in different age groups which will run for a period of five years.
The first element is providing Science innovation scholarships of Rs 5,000 for a total of one million young learners in the age group of 10-17 once in their school career during the next five years for experiencing the joy of innovation.
Second element is providing mentorship for top one per cent performers of Class ten examinations through meeting with global icons - Nobel Laureates during summer camps .
Third element will be providing assured opportunity for career with science for best 500 students for 15 years, from 17 to 32 years by offering scholarship for doctoral research and an Assistant Professor’s job later.
Mr Sibal informed that a high profile event of India–EU Ministerial Conference on Science has been scheduled to be held in Delhi from February 7-8. On the occasion of such a conference, all the 30 Nobel prize winners of Europe are being invited.
An interactive session for selected 500 doctoral research students from all over the country and 500 school students from Delhi with the global icons is being planned on February 8, 2007, he added.
The interactive meet will also be web casted for larger reach. Annually about 25 Indians in the age group of 18-30 are selected for interactive meet with Nobel Prize winners in Germany. India enjoys a large share of participants in the event, he added.