The development of human resources is of paramount importance in the process of state formation and in the creation of a knowledge society. CSIR has rendered a great service through its Human Resources Development Group (HRDG) at CSIR Complex, Pusa in New Delhi by nurturing, maintaining and assisting the stock of highly specialized scientists, engineers and technologists in various disciplines to improve SandT, cottages. It awards scholarships, grants, and recognizes excellence through various awards and distinctions.
Some of the objectives are:
- Adopt an integrated approach to the national development of human resources for science and technology by supporting and promoting research in universities and colleges.
- encouraging the updating of the pool of well qualified and highly specialized scientists, engineers and technologists for R&D in all disciplines of science and technology in the country.
- Conducting studies on the availability and use of S&T Human Resources in the country.
- Assist organizations in conducting symposiums, seminars, and conferences that help foster the scientific temperament.
The critical role played by HRDG in creating, maintaining and augmenting the pool of skilled human resources has helped build a large S&T workforce pool in the country. Research institutions, universities and industry turn to this group with their need for qualified personnel. S&T’s workforce, CSIR’s role in creating this pool of laboratory-level scientific staff, sets it apart from other funding agencies.
A CSIR grant is considered a pride for the recipient. The National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Grants (JRF) has made a name for itself in India and is known for its quality selection. Since 1983, when this statewide proficiency test was introduced, the cumulative total of JRFs awarded through 2003 is approximately 26,374. The cumulative total of Senior Research Grants (SRFs) awarded (1950-2003) is 45,808. Similarly, the cumulative total of Research Associateships (RA) (1950–2003) is 9,181 and Senior Research Associateship (SRA) (1958–2003) is 20,218. The average number of JRFs, SRFs, RAs and SRAs awarded over the past four years (2000 to 2003) was 1886,490, 145 and 106, respectively.
The Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship Program (SPMF) was recently established to identify emerging scholarly talent and to promote it.
The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Science and Technology Prize, named after the founding director of CSIR, is the country’s most coveted science and technology award. From its inception in 1957 to 2003, 388 SSB awards were presented and the list of honorees reads like a Who’s Who of Indian company S&T.
Until recently, the CSIR programs were mainly aimed at postgraduate and doctoral students only. CSIR has now broadened the base of scientific support by initiating new programs for young and talented children in the age group of 16 and over. The aim of the CSIR Youth for Leadership in Science (CPYLS) program is to attract the best young students to science through a unique hands-on experience. Its aim is to encourage young people to discover science as an exciting, rewarding and fulfilling career. Around 4,200 students benefited from this unique experience between 1999 and 2004.