Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday launched web portals of two schemes -- IMPRESS and SPARC -- with an aim to build a research ecosystem in educational institutions. "A country achieves prosperity on a sustainable basis only through innovation which can happen only by good research and which is currently a major focus area of the government," Mr. Javadekar said while addressing a press conference.
The objective of Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
"It will provide an opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country which includes all universities (central and state) and also a few private institutions meeting the requirement," he said. The scheme will be implemented at a total cost of Rs 414 crore till March, 2021.
Under IMPRESS, 1,500 research projects will be awarded for two years to support social science research in the higher educational institutions.
The Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.
Meanwhile, the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) aims at building the research ecosystem of India's higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian and foreign institutions.
"It is a scheme for promotion of academic and research collaboration. Under the scheme we are giving Rs 418 crore for 600 joint research proposals. The idea is to stop brain drain and provide facility so that they can do research in India which is of international level," said Javadekar. IIT-Khargapur is the national coordinating institute to implement the SPARC programme.
The research work under both the schemes would start from January next year, the minister said.