Despite approving a Bill to set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) to boost scientific advancement in the country just eight months earlier, the Union government was silent on allocation for the institution or progress made so far in the interim budget for 2024-25.
About National Research Foundation:
- It is an apex body to provide high-level strategic direction of scientific research in the country in accordance with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), will be established at a cost of 50,000 crore over the period 2023-28.
- It enhances “India’s national research infrastructure, knowledge enterprise, and innovation potential, for scientific pursuit”.
- Goals: To increase private sector contributions to research in India and to ensure that a larger portion of government funds go to state universities and colleges.
- Nodal Agency: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be NRF's administrative department.
- Governing body:
o The Prime Minister will be the ex-officio President of the Board.
o The Union Minister of Science & Technology & Union Minister of Education will be the ex-officio Vice-Presidents.
o NRF’s functioning will be governed by an Executive Council chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
o Forge collaborations among the industry, academia, and government departments and research institutions, and create an interface mechanism for participation and contribution of industries and State governments in addition to the scientific and line ministries.
o It will focus on creating a policy framework and putting in place regulatory processes that can encourage collaboration and increased spending by the industry on R&D.
Q1: What is the aim of NEP?
National Education Policy 2020 aims to increase the GER to 100% in preschool to secondary level by 2030 whereas GER in Higher Education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.