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DST Unveils VAIBHAV Scheme Cohort

Context:

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) introduces the first cohort of fellows under the Vaishvik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) scheme, mirroring similarities with the 2018-initiated Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (Vajra) scheme.

Relevance:

GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. VAIBHAV Scheme: Facilitating Global Collaboration in STEMM Fields
  2. Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) Scheme: Fostering International Collaboration

VAIBHAV Scheme: Facilitating Global Collaboration in STEMM Fields

Program Overview:

  • Launched by the Government in 2023.
  • Aims to connect the Indian STEMM diaspora with Indian academic and R&D institutions for collaborative research.

Fellowship Structure:

  • VAIBHAV Fellow identifies an Indian institution for collaboration.
  • Allows spending up to two months per year for a maximum of 3 years at the chosen institution.

Collaborative Research:

  • VAIBHAV Fellows collaborate with Indian counterparts.
  • Focus on initiating research activities in cutting-edge areas of Science and Technology.

Fellowship Benefits:

  • Includes a fellowship grant of INR 4,00,000 per month.
  • Covers international and domestic travel, accommodation, and contingencies.

Support for Host Institutions:

  • Host institutions receive research grants to support collaborative efforts.

Significance of the Scheme:

  • Strengthens global collaboration in scientific research.
  • Facilitates knowledge exchange and expertise infusion in Indian academic and research institutions.

Implementing Authority:

  • The VAIBHAV fellowships program is under the purview of the DST, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Awarded to outstanding scientists/technologists of Indian origin (NRI/PIO/OCI) engaged in research activities in their respective countries.

Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) Scheme: Fostering International Collaboration

Exclusive Program for Overseas Scientists:

  • The VAJRA Faculty Scheme is designed for overseas scientists and academicians, with a focus on NRI and PIO/OCI, to serve as adjunct/visiting faculty in Indian public-funded academic and research institutions.

Emphasis on Collaborative Research:

  • Recognizes the value of collaborative research for information sharing among researchers.
  • Aims to update and acquire knowledge and skills, drawing different perspectives to solve shared problems.

Research Areas of Interest:

  • The research undertaken by the Faculty should be of interest to India, including the translation of science into practice.

Teaching/Mentoring Opportunity:

  • Faculty members can teach/mentor during their stay, contributing to academic and research activities.

Duration of Engagement:

  • Faculty works for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months per year in an Indian institution.
  • The host institution may engage the faculty for a longer duration beyond the assignment period.

Part-Time Position Renewal:

  • The part-time position is initially offered for 1 year and can be renewed annually.

Financial Support:

  • VAJRA Faculty receives USD 15,000 in the first month and USD 10,000 per month for the next two months to cover travel and honorarium.
  • No separate support for accommodation, medical/personal insurance, etc., although the host institute may consider providing additional assistance.

Currency and Implementation Authority:

  • Payment to the faculty is made in Indian Rupees.
  • The VAJRA Faculty Scheme is implemented by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).

SERB: Implementing Authority:

  • SERB, a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology, was established in 2008 to promote basic research in science and engineering and provide financial assistance to researchers, academic institutions, and other agencies.

March 2024
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