Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. SERB has inaugurated the Accelerate Vigyan (AV) scheme, an inter-ministerial initiative to provide a big push to high-end scientific research and prepare scientific manpower that can venture into research careers in the knowledge-based economy. It will provide a single platform for research internships, capacity-building programs, and workshops across India. It has a dedicated web portal www.acceleratevigyan.gov.in
It recognizes that all research has its base as the development of quality and well-trained researchers, and will initiate and strengthen mechanisms to identify research potential, mentoring, training, and hands-on workshops on a broad-base pan- India scale.
Aims and objectives
It aims to expand the research base in India with three broad objectives- consolidation and aggregation of all scientific training programs, initiation of high-end orientation workshops, and creation of opportunities for research internships and training.
It primarily focuses on young potential researchers to allow them to spend quality time in pre-identified premier institutions, labs, and organizations and empower them through best practices and environment. This will help them acquire the requisite skills and vision to undertake future research assignments that require higher standards of scientific practices.
Under the AV scheme, there are two modes of learning-
1) High-end workshops, and
2) Training and skill internships
The scheme is beneficial for those students from universities, institutions, and recognized colleges that do not have access or exposure to such facilities and environments. The scheme is expected to be a game-changer to develop the career paths of young researchers and provide support to catalog skilled manpower development.
Application so far
Many ministries and departments already run various programs and provide grants-in-aid and funding to organizations and professional bodies to organize seminars, symposia, technical workshops, winter or summer schools for training and skill development of young researchers throughout the country. But there is a lack of a common database. The Accelerate Vigyan program aims at branding and aggregation of all scientific workshops and training programs conducted in India under a common roof and logo.
The database of skilled manpower across different disciplines that are being developed under this scheme will be helpful to students, teachers, science administrators, and other stakeholders concerning capacity building, access to information, and promotion of scientific research and development.
The plan looking forward?
SERB will centrally coordinate with other ministries, departments, and organizations. The AV Scheme will run on a mission mode and an Inter-Ministerial Overseeing Committee among all scientific ministries and departments and others are constituted to help and support SERB to implement the scheme.
ABHYAAS is a program under this scheme that aims to boost R&D in the country by enabling and grooming potential postgraduate and Ph.D. students by developing dedicated research skills in selected areas disciplines through two components – high-end workshops ( KARYASHALA) and training and skill internships (VRITIKA). This is especially important for researchers with limited opportunities to access learning capacities and infrastructure.