The University Grants Commission (UGC) is planning a specified budget, in each Five Year Plan (FYP), which would be allocated to all the universities of the country. The budget will be dedicated to support research and innovation in the campus concerned. The move will facilitate speedy imbursement of funds for research and development activity. Presently, UGC serves as the primary funding body.
The funds available at the university level will help speeding up the process of procuring funds for faculty research projects. The commission is mulling the step after recommendations have been made by Vice-Chancellors of different state and central universities, who attended an all-important conference jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development and the UGC at Vigyan Bhawan recently in New Delhi.
The thematic group-III that discussed research and innovation has also suggested that a provision of startup fund be initiated and institutionalized to motivate the new and younger faculty.
The academicians also pitched for investigator friendly research and development project guidelines for motivating the faculty members. Travel grant for students/PhD scholars for undertaking short term visits in the country or abroad may be provided for training, capacity building, collaborative research and for presenting papers in seminars and conferences besides creating more specialty-oriented Inter-University Centres (IUCs).
UGC is also considering a data bank of all the major equipments that should be maintained and published on university web page to enable collaborations and optimal utilisation by all. Likewise, all universities should also list details of faculty profile, their research specialisation and the research areas of strength of each department. Formalising a concept of joint appointment system between universities and national laboratories could also help in enhancing present strength of about 1,50,000 full time scientists by at least 3-fold, ie. 4,50,000 over a reasonable time frame.
The thrust areas at the national level be identified in both theoretical and experimental sciences in all disciplines. Co-location of research labs/institutions in the university system be encouraged, university innovation clusters be set up in all geographical locations with the university acting as a nodal point of such a cluster, with a view to build an innovation network with industry, other universities and R&D Labs for ensuring optimum use of human and infrastructural resource etc were also suggested at the meeting.
[Source: Times of India]