The Ministry of Human Resource and Development announced it on Thursday that two schemes, namely, IMPRESS and SPARC are being launched in order to promote higher education research in India. The scheme IMPRESS will deal with social science research projects and will be coordinated by the ICSSR. SPARC will involve foreign collaboration mainly in science research in coordination with IIT, Kharagpur.
Prakash Javadekar, Union minister of Human Resource Development said that the IMPRESS scheme will bring an Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences which will need a funding of Rs. 414 crore for a total of 1500 projects and the other scheme in the social sciences at the cost of Rs. 20-25 lakh per project.
On being asked whether the proposals critical of government policies would also be accepted after perusal, the Minister answered in the affirmative. The Minister further added that the selection of the faculty for the schemes would be done on merit basis. The faculty will be chosen from the present and retired faculty of well-known public and private institutions.
The fields of research shortlisted include state and democracy, urban transformation, media, culture and society, employment, skills, rural transformation, governance, innovation and public policy, agriculture, science, social media, politics, law and government, etc.
The other scheme, SPARC would need a funding of Rs.418 crore on 600 research proposals.
The research areas are a mix of top Indian and foreign institutions and would undertake researches like fundamental research, advanced electronics, communication, structural genomics and affordable healthcare. For the SPARC scheme, India will collaborate with 28 countries.