- India Infrastructure Project Development Fund Scheme
- VAIBHAV fellowships Programme
Focus: GS III: Indian Economy
Why in News?
Recently, to promote the Digital India initiative of the Government of India, the Infrastructure Finance Secretariat has launched the IIPDF Portal for submitting applications for consideration under IIPDF Scheme.
About IIPDF Scheme:
- It is a Central Sector Scheme which will aid the development of quality PPP projects by providing necessary funding support to the project sponsoring authorities, both in the Central and State Governments.
- Funding under this scheme will be in addition to the already-operational Scheme for Financial Support to PPPs in Infrastructure, essentially a viability gap funding (VGF) scheme, notified in December 2020.
- Under the VGF scheme, support is granted for PPP infrastructure projects that are economically justified but commercially unviable.
- The IIPDF has been created with initial budgetary outlay by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- For providing financial support for quality project development activities to the States and the Central Ministries a corpus fund titled ‘India Infrastructure Project Development Fund’ (IIPDF), with initial contribution of Rs. 100 crore is being set up.
- Although it is envisaged as a revolving fund and would get replenished by the reimbursement of ‘investment’ through success fee earned from successfully bid projects, should there be a need, it can be supplemented in subsequent years through budget support.
- The IIPDF would assist ordinarily up to 75% of the project development expenses.
- The assistance from IIPDF would ordinarily be in the form of interest free loan.
- On successful completion of the bidding process, the project development expenditure would be recovered from the successful bidder.
- The IIPDF’s primary objective would be to fund potential PPP projects’ project development expenses including costs of engaging consultants and transaction advisor, thus increasing the quality and quantity of successful PPPs and allowing informed decision making by the Government based on good quality feasibility reports.
- The IIPDF will assist projects that closely support the best practices in PPP project identification and preparation as set out in guidance to be issued by the Department of Economic Affairs from time to time.
Focus: GS II: Government policies and Interventions
Why in News?
The Government of India has launched a new fellowship programme to connect the Indian Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM)diaspora with Indian academic and R&D institutions.
About VAIBHAV Fellowships Programme:
- The VAIBHAV (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Fellowships Programme is designed to promote collaboration and research engagement between outstanding scientists and technologists of Indian origin residing outside of India and Indian institutions.
- The fellowship is open to NRIs (Non-Resident Indians), OCIs (Overseas Citizens of India), and PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) who are actively involved in research activities in their respective countries.
- VAIBHAV Fellows are required to identify an Indian institution for collaboration and can spend up to two months per year for a maximum period of three years in India.
- Funding provided by the government for the fellowship amounts to INR 4,00,000 per month for the entire duration.
- The primary aim of the programme is to enhance the research ecosystem in Indian higher educational institutions by facilitating collaborations between Indian institutions and renowned global institutions.
- The programme achieves this by promoting the mobility of faculty and researchers from overseas institutions to India.
- To be eligible for the fellowship, researchers must be affiliated with institutions ranked in the top 500 of the QS World University Rankings.
- Applicants must hold a Ph.D., M.D., or M.S. degree from a recognized university.
- A total of 75 fellows will be selected and invited to work in 18 identified knowledge verticals, including quantum technology, health, pharmaceuticals, electronics, agriculture, energy, computer sciences, material sciences, and more.
- The implementation of the VAIBHAV Fellowships Programme is overseen by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.