What is National Research Foundation?

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What is National Research Foundation?

Realising the need and importance of research in the country’s growth and development, India has decided to step forth in the field of research. The Union Cabinet has approved the National Research Foundation Bill, 2023. It aims to encourage research and development in India’s universities, colleges, research institutions, and R&D laboratories. This article talks about the National Research Foundation (NRF) and its significance. 

 

What is the National Research Foundation?

After being approved by the Parliament, the Bill will create the National Research Foundation (NRF). NRF- an apex entity that will provide high-level strategic direction of the nation’s scientific research in accordance with the National Education Policy’s (NEP) recommendations. The anticipated total cost is Rs. 50,000 crores over five years (2023–28).

 

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) will be repealed and absorbed into the NRF. SERB was founded in 2009 by the SERB Act, 2008, and is a statutory entity under the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It was established to support fundamental scientific and engineering research and to offer funding to researchers, academic institutions, R&D facilities, S&T start-ups, etc.

 

The administrative division of the NRF will be the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which will be overseen by a Governing Board having distinguished academics and industry leaders from various fields. The Prime Minister will serve as the ex-officio President of the Board and the Union Ministers of Science & Technology and Education will serve as the ex-officio Vice-Presidents due to the NRF’s vast reach, which affects all ministries. An Executive Council, led by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, will oversee NRF’s operations.

 

The NRF intends to develop partnerships between business, academia, government agencies, and research institutions, as well as an interaction mechanism for business engagement and contribution in addition to that of the scientific and line ministries. It will concentrate on developing a regulatory framework and setting up policies that can promote cooperation and greater industry R&D spending.

 

Why NRF?

In comparison to the US (2.83%), China (2.14%), Israel (4.9%), South Korea (4.64%) and countries like Brazil, Malaysia, and Egypt, India barely invests 0.7% of its GDP on research and development. The new innovations resulting from the research have proved their importance in the growth and development of the country as a whole. Thus it is high time for India to step up on R&D. NRF will work to democratise research funding, discover answers to the pressing issues affecting Indian society, etc. The Bill is required because existing regulations made it challenging for private research organisations to fund organisations like the NRF.

 

According to the NRF thorough project report, less than 1% of the country’s almost 40,000 higher education institutions are currently involved in research. The NRF seeks to engage colleges and universities in scientific research.

 

India is not producing as many patents and publications as other countries. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China registered 1.538 million patent applications (of which only 10% were from nonresident Chinese), and the US registered 605,571 applications. India registered just 45,057 applications, more than 70% of which were from non-resident Indians.

 

There is no doubt India has a lot of potential and talent in this field which needs to be tapped. The right mechanisms and environment can help widen the scope of research and development in the country. There’s a need for organisations and bodies like the National Research Foundation to work towards it. 

 

Indian government has tried to foster research, development and innovation through initiatives like Sign Language AstroLab, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)- NAtional Physics Laboratory, One Week -One Lab, Science and Heritage Research Initiative, Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations, Mission on Advanced and High Impact Research, Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY), Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT), Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF), FIST (Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions), PURSE (Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence), SAIF (Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facilities), SATHI (Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes) and STUTI (Synergistic Training Program Utilising the Scientific and Technological Infrastructure).  

 

Programs Similar to NRF 

 

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), German Research Foundation, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF), and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil (CNPq) are the focal agencies supporting scientific research. They belong to China, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Brazil respectively. These agencies work efficiently and uplevel the countries’ economy in this competitive world. India also aspires to be one of the major contributors and a strong competitor in this field. Thus, NRF holds special significance for India. 

Kanak Sharma is a graduate from Miranda House in History and Political Science. She is honest, cheerful, responsible and friendly and likes to read, dance and introspect. She strongly believes in spirituality. Peace and fairness are the two things she sought in life as end goals. She has a long list of skills she wants to learn in life. With the motto "Right means would eventually lead to right end", she strives to be an asset for the society and the nation.
Kanak Sharma
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Pradeep Sharma
Pradeep Sharma
Guest
8 months ago

Information is very useful.

MEDHA ARYA
MEDHA ARYA
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8 months ago

🌟 💗

Shweta singh Antal
Shweta singh Antal
Guest
8 months ago

Very Good 👍keep it up.

Tinu
Tinu
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8 months ago

Bahut acha👌

Tinu
Tinu
Guest
8 months ago

Very informative article

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