National Research Foundation: The National Research Foundation (NRF) got a place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s national address on the occasion of Independence Day. The autonomous body envisaged under this new education policy (NEP) 2020 is to be formed soon. One of the biggest announcements under the New Education Policy. Its ‘quality of research’ in India will be seen after funding, mentoring and construction. The objective of NRF is to provide funds to researchers conducting research in various streams in India. Also Read – Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s second death anniversary today, PM Modi and President Ramnath Kovind paid tribute
NRF will fund research projects in four major disciplines to bring the non-science disciplines of research under its purview. This includes Science, Technology, Social Science and Arts and Humanities. The lack of fund allocation has often been seen as one of the biggest reasons behind the shortage of researchers in India and NRF aims to fulfill the same. Also Read – New Education Policy 2020: PM Modi said on this policy, it will play an important role in making India self-reliant, modern
Funds allocated for research fell from 0.84 percent of GDP in 2008 to 0.69 percent in 2014, as noted in the draft NEP. The new National Education Policy also accepts, “Research and innovation investment in India is at present, only 0.69 percent of GDP. In comparison, it is 2.8 percent in the United States, 4.3 percent in Israel and 4.2 percent in South Korea. ” Also Read – Investment in infrastructure sector to exceed Rs 110 lakh crore, 7 thousand projects identified
However, lack of funds is not the only problem. The number of students doing research in India is also very less. Currently, the number of researchers (per million population) in the country lags behind many smaller countries including China, the US, as well as Israel. According to the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) report, less than 0.5 percent of Indian students receive PhD or equivalent level of education.