New scheme launched to augment research capabilities in state universities

New Delhi: A new scheme was launched to augment the research capabilities in a structured way to create a robust R&D ecosystem in state and private universities and colleges, including self-financed institutions working within these universities.

State University Research Excellence (SERB-SURE) is a new innovative scheme of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), that can foster collaboration for high-end research at state and private universities and colleges.

“The new scheme will help bring the university system, which was so far mostly limited to teaching, into mainstream research and enable the young faculty there to participate in cutting-edge research,” said Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar, Chairman SERB and Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) at the launch of the programme. He added that the new programme, which would also support data-driven social science research, would be a great stimulus to the latent potential that lies in our universities.

Chairman University Grants Commission, Professor M Jagadesh Kumar, said that this scheme would provide much-needed research opportunities to the faculties of state universities, 45% of which are located in rural areas. He also emphasized on the need to train the faculty of the universities on how to write and submit proposals, procurements, and management of projects.

“As a large number of the state universities are in rural backgrounds, they can also take part in ground-level research that would benefit the local industry and local farmers and work for grassroot problems needing innovative solutions,” said K N Vyas, Secretary Department of Atomic Energy.

“In this scheme, the state universities will have level competition to secure research funding, and present significant opportunities for strengthening of research ecosystem in state universities to upgrade their research capabilities to national and international levels,” said SERB Secretary Professor Sandeep Verma.

The growth of existing research capabilities at these institutions is imperative to ensure horizontal diffusion of research excellence reaching all research students hoping to contribute to national R&D ecosystem, to propagate scientific temper and promoting enhancement of quality through SERB support.

SERB-SURE scheme provides research support to active researchers belonging to state and private universities and colleges, including self-financed institutions working within these universities, across India, to undertake research and development in frontier areas of science, engineering, and quantitative social science.