The strength of the innovation infrastructure of a nation has enormous significance in the competition among emerging knowledge economies. The realization of Vision 2020 calls for action and a well designed innovation infrastructure.
Generation and nurturing of a human talent pool capable of utilizing and developing first principles in science is both a pre-condition and integral part of such an innovation infrastructure. An India specific model for attracting talent with an aptitude for research and innovation, for a career in Basic & Natural sciences is required. INSPIRE is an innovative programme developed by the the Department of Science & Technology to attract talent to the excitement and study of science at an early age, and to help the country build the required critical resource pool for strengthening and expanding the S&T system and R&D base. It is a programme with long term foresight.
INSPIRE has three components:
i. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)
ii. Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
iii. Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC)
This scheme offers 10,000 scholarships every year @ Rs.80,000/- each for undertaking Bachelor and Masters level education in the Natural & Basic sciences, possessing any of the following criteria:
A) Students who happento be among the top 1% in 12th standard at their respective Board Examinations and are pursuing courses in Natural and Basic sciences at the B.Sc. or Integrated M.Sc. levels. Courses are not included other than Natural and Basic sciences in the current scheme in view of the focus on research in Basic sciences.
B) Students who have secured in the Joint Entrance Examination of JEE-Advance top 10,000 ranks, JEE-Main (top 10,000 ranks) plus those clearing NEET (top 10,000 ranks), and who also opt to study Natural and Basic sciences in any academic institute or university leading to graduate and post-graduate degree, would be eligible for scholarship.
C) Students admitted to Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Basic Sciences (DAE-CBS) at the University of Mumbai or happen to be Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search (JBNSTS) scholars and Science Olympiad Medalists, opting to undertake courses in the Natural & Basic sciences leading to B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees are eligible for “SHE”scholarship..
INSPIRE fellowship aims at enhancing research fellowships for doctoral studies and opening up partnerships with private sector for topping the Government’s efforts in nurturing talents for scientific research. This scheme is applicable to Basic and Applied sciences as well as Medicine, Agriculture etc. with provision of multiple entries. The fellowship will be offered to (1) University 1st Ranker in a particular subject at PG level examination in Basic and Applied Science courses as well as (2) INSPIRE scholar, who have secured aggregate marks of 65 % are above at the 2 year MSc or 5 year Integrated MSc/MS.