Budget 2018 for education: Demands for funds in the field of research and development had been longstanding in India. As the world is changing fast with the cutting age research and technology, Modi government has announced a major scheme to attract students to research.
Budget 2018 for education: Demands for funds in the field of research and development had been longstanding in India. As the world is changing fast with the cutting age research and technology, Modi government has announced a major scheme to attract students to research. Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) is the scheme announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Union Budget 2018. Under this scheme that will be launched this year, the government will identify 1,000 best B.Tech students each year from premier institutions and provide them facilities to pursue Ph.D. in IITs and IISc. The researchers will also be paid a handsome fellowship, the finance minister has announced in the budget. Jaitley said his government also expects those bright young fellows would voluntarily commit few hours every week for teaching in higher educational institutions. Those students who get selected will be entitled to Rs 75, 000 per month as a fellowship for five years. The Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) scheme has been allocated a sum of Rs 1,800 crore.
Students pursuing their studies in premier institutes like IIT, NIT, IISc and IIIT and other institutes can apply for the fellowship. The eligibility criteria to opt for PMRF scheme is to have a strong academic background (maybe above 8 CGPA), have a strong academic background.
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Reacting to the new initiative, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi of IIT Madras today said that the programme will benefit the country and attract a lot of their own students to pursue PhD in the country. He also said the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows scheme will also give them the opportunity to become faculty members.
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On the Research and development front, India’s spending was much lower compared to US, China, South Korea and Israel, the Economic Survey 2017-18 has pointed out. In terms of percentage of GDP, India’s spending has been stagnant at 0.6 to 0.7 per cent in the last two decades.
Notably, the survey also stated that the East Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea have seen dramatic increases in R&D spending as a percentage of GDP as they have become richer. On the other hand, India has only seen a slight increase. In fact, the year 2015 saw a sizable decline in R&D spending even as GDP per capita continued to rise.