The Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) program was established by the Department of Science & Technology in an effort to attract talent to science. With INSPIRE, the country’s youth will be introduced to the excitement of creative science pursuits, and talent will be attracted to science at an early age, thus helping to build the critical human resource pool necessary to strengthen and expand the Science & Technology system.
This programme is notable for not conducting competitive exams at any level to identify talent. As a means of identifying talent, it relies on and believes in the effectiveness of the existing educational structure.
A nation’s innovation infrastructure plays a crucial role in its ability to compete with emerging knowledge economies. In order to realize Vision 2020, action must be taken and an innovation infrastructure must be designed well.
As an integral part of such an innovation infrastructure, it is imperative to develop and nurture a talent pool capable of utilizing and developing first principles in science. It is imperative to develop an India-specific model for attracting talent with an aptitude for research and innovation to a career in Basic & Natural Sciences. The Department of Science & Technology has developed the INSPIRE programme to promote the excitement of science at a young age and to help build the critical resource pool necessary for strengthening and expanding the country’s science and technology systems. With long-term vision, it is a program that is well-planned.
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INSPIRE has three components:
Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent
Scholarship for Higher Education
Assured Opportunity for Research Careers
Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)
MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) Awards for Innovative Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)
The INSPIRE – MANAK Awards aim to inspire one million original ideas and innovations rooted in science and societal applications among schoolchildren between the ages of 10 and 15 (studying in classes 6 to 10) and will award Rs 10,000/- to the shortlisted ideas of students. If you have applied for pmsonline 2023 you can check scholarship here.
Basic Guidelines for MANAK Awards
In order to implement the INSPIRE Award, the following guidelines must be followed:
Award for students in classes 6th through 10th.
There is no examination during the identification process. The Principal/Headmaster/Headmistress will nominate the names of the students.
Over 4.5 lakh middle and secondary schools in the country will receive one million awards in five years.y.
The students will receive an amount of Rs 10,000 for making a project and transportation costs for displaying the exhibits/projects.
Exhibits will be held at the district, state, regional, and national levels
The best exhibit/project from each level is displayed at this level. The exhibition of INSPIRE projects will be financed separately by the District/State
Awardees at the district and state levels.
Through an arrangement with SBI, award money will be released directly to Awardees.
The state will provide the list of all schools, including those that are public, government-aided, and private.
Throughout each school, the Headmaster/Headmistress/Principal will provide a list of selected students from classes 6th, 7th & 8th in one group, and 9th & 10th in another group, along with an indication of which name is the most preferred one from each group, viz 6th -8th Std and 9th -10th Std.
The State Education Department will select students from each school in the State using its convenient method. In the selection process, both academic records and exhibitions/projects done by the student would be taken into consideration.
DST will be provided with the criteria used by the State.
It will be DST’s responsibility to organize exhibitions at the district and state levels and to arrange for Scientists/Academicians to serve as jurors.
It is the objective of the INSPIRE Internship camp to expose talented youth to the joys of innovation and encourage them to pursue careers in science and research.t.
Classes X students pursuing 11th grade in Science discipline, within the eligibility criteria of respective Education Boards, may participate in these camps. The INSPIRE Internship Science Camps can be organized by institutes/degree colleges/universities.
Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
By providing scholarships and mentoring through ‘summer attachments’ to performing researchers, the Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) efforts to attract talented youth into science intensive programs. It offers 10,000 scholarships each year at Rs 0.80 lakh per year to talented youth in the age group 17-22 years to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Natural and Basic Sciences.
Nevertheless, the 18 Science subjects such as (1) Physics, (2) Chemistry, (3) Mathematics, (4) Biology, (5) Statistics, (6) Geology, (7) Astrophysics, (8) Astronomy, (9), Electronics, (10), Botany, (11) Zoology, (12) Bio-chemistry, (13) Anthropology, (14) Microbiology, (15) Geophysics, (16) Geochemistry, (17) Atmospheric Sciences and (18) Oceanic Sciences, either as majors or honours, or combinations thereof, will be covered by INSPIRE Scholarships. As part of the INSPIRE scholarship scheme, mentorship support is planned for every scholar.
Assured Opportunity for Research Careers
By offering doctoral INSPIRE Fellowships in both basic and applied sciences (including engineering and medicine), Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) intends to attract, attach, retain, and nourish talented young scientific human resources to strengthen the R&D foundation and base. As part of the INSPIRE Faculty Scheme, postdoctoral researchers can also be offered contractual and tenure track positions for five years in basic and applied sciences areas (similar to the New Blood programme of the Royal Society of UK).
Inspire fellowships are intended to enhance doctoral research fellowships and develop partnerships with the private sector to complement the government’s efforts to nurture scientific researchers. This scheme is applicable to Basic and Applied sciences, Medicine, Agriculture, and other fields with the provision of multiple entries. Fellowships will be awarded to (1) University First Rankers in a particular subject at PG level examinations in Basic and Applied Science courses as well as (2) INSPIRE scholars who have obtained aggregate marks of 65 % or higher at the 2 year MSc or 5 year Integrated MSc/MS courses.
INSPIRE Faculty Scheme
A research career is assured for young researchers in the age group of 27-32 years through the INSPIRE Faculty Scheme. In scientific and educational institutions, it is expected to augment high-quality scientific manpower. In the long run, it intends to help young achievers become S&T leaders by providing attractive opportunities to develop independent scientific profiles. There are contractual research positions available through the Scheme. Despite providing career opportunities, it does not guarantee tenure after 5 years.