India seeks to enhance efficiency of research funding with global best practices

Kolkata, Jan 10 (IANS) India seeks to streamline and enhance efficiency of research funding with the incorporation of best practices across the globe, a veteran scientist said here on Tuesday.

“We are trying to get an idea about the (funding) mechanisms elsewhere and wherever possible try to adapt the best practices,” V. Chandrasekhar, a core member of the programme advisory committee of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) told IANS.

He was speaking as a group of Indian scientists on Tuesday brainstormed with as many as 14 international scientists and representatives of funding agencies, in a bid to make research funding better.

The meeting took place at the SABIC 2017 conference organized by Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

SERB under the Union Department of Science and Technology promotes basic research in science and engineering and provides financial assistance to researchers and academic institutions.

The recommendations from the meeting would be submitted to the board.

One of the pertinent issues on the radar is the swift delivery of funds and dissemination to the right people.

“Money is not the issue but how do you make the money come to the aid of the person quickly so it doesn’t hamper the work. This is the issue in terms of policy and in terms of how we address ease doing of business. That problem we have even in science,” explained Chandrasekhar, director of NISER, Bhubaneswar.

In accordance with India’s current thrust on areas such as health, energy and environment, the meeting also addressed the need for identification of topics which could receive special funding.

“We should reach a stage where we also have equal number of original ideas emanating from India and others elsewhere should be following it. At this stage while the percentage is there, it should be much larger in terms of the country size,” Chandrasekhar added.