Education Ministry Releases Rs 80 Crore To IIT Kharagpur As SPARC Grant
This Education Ministry’s grant of Rs 80 crore to IIT Kharagpur has been released for the second phase of Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) Programme.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) has released a grant of Rs 80 crore to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur as a boost to international research outreach programmes. This Education Ministry’s grant has been released for the second phase of Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) Programme.
“With phase two funding of Rs 80 crores and the structured format of e-workshops, webinars, online classes and even research in virtual mode, the scope for productive academic collaborations at the SPARC-approved collaborating institutes look promising,” Professor Adrijit Goswami of IIT Kharagpur who is heading the Pan India coordination of the programme said.
An IIT Kharagpur statement said: “In 2019-20, more than 300 international experts visited Indian institutions registered under SPARC for various projects and workshops. Close to 400 research proposals have been approved for funding to date. Over 26 per cent of the Research and Development proposals and international outreach are focused on emergent areas of impact including advanced electronics and communication; advanced functional and metamaterials; structural genomics and evolutionary Biology; artificial intelligence and cognitive science; and infectious disease and clinical research.”
“This segment was followed by Action-Oriented Research with a 24 per cent accepted proposals in areas including Future of Earth: Green and Renewable Technologies, River, Ocean, Aviation and Space Management Technology, Technology Enhanced Education and Learning, including Assistive Technologies, Agricultural and Food Sustainability, Technologies for Rural and Women Empowerment, Law and Society. Convergence areas of research is another significant segment with 22 per cent proposals in areas covering Transportation and Smart Infrastructure, Affordable Health Care, Advanced Manufacturing, Science and Heritage, Energy and Water Sustainability,” it added.
“The data indicates a clear shift towards transdisciplinary research addressing global challenges and cutting-edge research. The insights will further boost international collaboration opportunities for science and technology institutes in India by aligning their thrust areas with global trends,” remarked Professor Virendra K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur who is the national coordinator for the SPARC programme.
The participation from USA, Australia and UK, as per the IIT Kharagpur statement, witnessed highest visits covering close to 65 per cent of the international faculty visitors in 2019-20. The slump in 2020 though was expected, work was carried out through online conferences.
Talking about the road ahead, Professor Goswami said: “Going online is the new normal roadmap at least for programmes like SPARC and GIAN. While online mode has its drawbacks, on the brighter side it may swell the opportunities especially for those who otherwise find such collaborative work arduous due to extended physical visits.”