A mission to Mars, tourists in space and Rs 1 lakh annual scholarship for science students are some proposals that will come before the Planning Commission later this week.
The schemes, estimated to be over Rs 2,000 crore that will be executed in the next five years, are being suggested to cultivate an interest in science.
Scientists like CNR Rao, the head of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, had expressed disappointment over the state of science education in India. ISRO is also witnessing a fast attrition rate with 11 scientists leaving every month, the Parliament was informed earlier this year.
The Ministry of Science and Technology plans to set up an institute — the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology — to create quality human resources for ISRO.
Within ISRO, the government will provide training on management and leadership to scientists and engineers.
“Specialised training on new vistas of technology and science will be provided to the young engineers and scientists,” a ministry’s proposal to the Planning Commission said.
With the pool of manpower, the ambitious mission to Mars, asteroid missions to fly close to comets, space tourism and developing technologies for manned missions will get a boost, the ministry has said.
The government also plans to launch a scheme — Innovations in Science Pursuits for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) — that will provide financial aid to 10 lakh young innovators in schools.
The recommendation of the Oversight Committee for Higher Education to start a scholarship scheme for students pursuing B.Sc and M.Sc courses will also be part of the scheme. Each of the 10,000 students to be covered will get Rs 1 lakh per annum as scholarship fee.