News Excerpt
To provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs, and workshops across the country, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV).

Highlights
•    The primary objective of this inter-ministerial scheme is to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to research careers and knowledge-based economy.
•    Recognizing that all research has its base as development of quality and well-trained researchers, AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshop on a national scale.
•    The vision is to expand the research base, with three broad goals, namely, consolidation / aggregation of all scientific programs, initiating high-end orientation workshops, and creating opportunities for research internships for those who do not have access to such resources / facilities.
•    The institution is also planning to launch an app for this in the coming two months.
•    There are two components of AV:
a)    ABHYAAS programme-It is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential PG/PhD students by means of developing their research skills in selected areas across different disciplines or fields.It has two components:
o    High-End Workshops (‘KARYASHALA’) and
o    Research Internships (‘VRITIKA’).
This is especially important for those researchers who have limited opportunities to access such learning capacities / facilities / infrastructure.

b)    SAMMOHAN- It has been sub-divided into
o    SAYONJIKA- It is an open-ended program to catalogue the capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country.
o    SANGOSHTI- It is a pre-existing program of SERB. It is designed to facilitate the scientific community to establish an interaction with other individuals and research groups to enhance knowledge exchange. It is to keep them abreast of the latest developments in Science & Technology by supporting participation in national and international events across the country.
•    As part of this acceleration drive, there is a plan to organize about 1000 high-end workshops (dedicated to certain themes) to provide opportunities to about 25,000 postgraduate and doctoral students in the next five years, in collaboration with premier scientific institutions and laboratories.
•    Also, central coordination of internships in these institutions will provide opportunity to another 1000 potential postgraduate students every year.
•    The AV will work on mission mode, particularly with respect to its component dealing with consolidation/aggregation of all major scientific events in the country.
•    Thus, an Inter-Ministerial Overseeing Committee (IMOC) involving all the scientific ministries/departments and a few others has been constituted for the purpose of supporting SERB in implementing the AV scheme in a successful manner.
•    The database of skilled manpower developed across different disciplines so generated and the final outcomes captured in the process through all the sub-components of the AV will serve the cause of all stakeholders in respect of capacity building in the country.
•    The scheme also seeks to garner the social responsibility of the scientific community in the country.

Conclusion
The initiative is a right step in direction of promoting research and development, innovation and promote science and technology in the country.

Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)
    It was set up through the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008 of Parliament.
    The body comes under Department of Science and Technology.
    Promoting basic research in Science and Engineering and to provide financial assistance to persons engaged in such research, academic institutions, research and development laboratories, industrial concerns and other agencies for such research and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto are the primary and distinctive mandate of the Board.
    SERB aims to build up best management systems which would match the best global practices in the area of promotion and funding of basic research.