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Annual Report 2007-2008

Human Resources For Indian S&T Advancement

Manpower Development is an integral part of various programmes of the Department of Science & Technology. Innovative human resource development programmes were initiated/continued. Many of the continuing projects and programmes like the Kishore Vaigyanik Prothsahan Yojana (KVPY), DST-JNC Summer Student Fellowships, Integrated Science Olympiad Programme etc. were promoted. The Depart­ment also encouraged programmes supporting Young Scientists to take up challenging R&D activities as a career.

These initiatives have produced several trained Manpower in critical areas of Science & Technology.

Serc Schools/Training Programmes/Workshops

Several short-term schools, training programmes and workshops were conducted on various themes of Science & Technology. Some of these include:

  • A SERC School on “Optical Metrology and Diffractive Optics” at University of Calcutta, Kolkata.
  • The 1 st SERC school in neurosciences was held at Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, R.T.M. Nagpur University, Nagpur.
  • The first school on herpetology was held at North Orissa University, Baripada.
  • SERC school in chronobiology-II: “clocks rhythms and behavior”, is being planned to be held shortly to develop a good scientific base for studies in the field and to initiate collaborative research programs. The school would address the interactions both at cellular and molecular mechanisms that generate biologi­cal timing, rhythmic manifestations of these mechanisms, and its overall impact on general temporal order (behaviour) of the organism.
  • The planning committee for the series of five SERC schools on herpetology has set syllabus for the school, identified national and international faculties and prepared draft time table for the first school.
  • 5-year SERC school on “Matrix valuable calculus and statistical distribution theory and applications in data analysis, model building and astrophysics problems” at Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Pala from the year 2008-2012 have also been supported.
  • 3 rd SERC School on Aviation Meteorology with special reference to “Atmospheric obscurity and Plan­etary Boundary Layer”.
  • 3 rd SERC School on “Atmospheric Effects on GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN)”.
  • SERC Main School in Theoretical High Energy Physics (THEP) was held at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad during January 18- February 5, 2007.
  • SERC School on Experimental High Energy Physics was held during February 5-24, 2007 at Jammu University, Jammu.
  • SERC Preparatory School in Theoretical High Energy Physics (THEP) was held at BHU, Varanasi during November 26 – December 15, 2007
  • SERC School on ‘Micrometeorological aspects of agricultural drought'.
  • Three training programs on STORM
  • Geological Expedition to Ladakh and Karakoram
  • Application of RS & GIS in Earth Sciences
  • Contact Courses on Mineral Exploration
  • Field Workshop in the Neogene Succession of Mizoram
  • Workshop on Active Tectonics and Palaeoseismology
  • A 5 days workshop on Applications of Isotopes in water resources development and management was conducted. The objective was to overcome lack of knowledge in Isotope based nuclear techniques, which can be used to investigate new ideas to manage water resources efficiently by sharing information amongst field engineers, academicians, hydrologists, hydro-geologists, hydro-chemist and nuclear sci­entist.
  • Four basic and advance training courses for under graduate level have also been supported to attract young talent and to opt their carrier in Mathematical Sciences. It was organized at Christ Church Col­lege, Kanpur, Banaras Hindu University and St. Thomas College, Pala, Kerala.
  • As a new initiative, National meet of Research Scholars has also been supported to train them about research methodologies and to improve the presentation skill etc. It was organized at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
  • Glacier studies are specialized subject that is not taught in any university in India. Therefore, special­ized training courses were organized on regular basis for the researchers from various research institu-tions/universities in association with the Geological Survey of India and IIT, Mumbai.
  • Training Programmes on Repair & Maintenance of Bio-Medical Instruments.
  • Workshop on ICP-OES for research workers by SAIF, Chennai.
  • Training programmes on Electron Microscopy for research workers by SAIF, Chandigarh.
  • Training programmes on Electron Microscopy for research workers/technical personnel by SAIF, New Delhi.
  • A workshop on ‘Instrumental Methods of Analysis' by SAIF, Kochi.
  • A workshop on ‘Measurement Uncertainties in Chemical Analysis' by SAIF, Kochi.
  • A school on ‘A new dimension to NMR: From molecule to human behaviour' by SAIF, Bangalore.
  • Workshops on demonstration of Plasma Pyrolysis Technology at Institute of Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar Gujarat. · A workshop on Bio-fuels policy formulation at Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
  • Second Three-day Training Course on “Good Laboratory Practice” for test facilities in New Delhi on March 28-30, 2007.
  • One day Workshop on “Good Laboratory Practice for Academia” at Department of Veterinary Pharma­cology and Toxicology, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata on December 14, 2007.

DST Schools on Mathematical Modeling in Earth System Sciences

The main aim of this programme is to develop manpower in mathematical modeling and computer simulation , planning & management for better understanding of processes and phenomena in Earth System Sciences (Earth , Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences), which can fill up the present and future needs of our country, through organizing various types of inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional training activities in different parts of the country.

So far, during the period of the report, eight DST advanced Training Courses/ programme were organized and about 240 candidates (Students, Research Scholars, Scientists and Teachers ,etc ) in the different field of Earth System Sciences from all over India participated under the programme. In addition to the above, six final lecture notes volume were published and around 125 resource persons delivered lectures and conducted practical classes, etc. in the different fields and different parts of our country. Overall details of the organized courses/ training, etc, are as below:

  • GIS-Based Utility Mapping for Urban Planning and Management with Special Emphasis on Mathemati­cal Modeling by CEPT University, Ahmedabad
  • Spatial Data Management for ‘PURA' related Development Initiatives by Centre for Studies in Man & Environment, Kolkatta
  • Use of Remote Sensing, GPS and Digital Cartography in Resource Management and Planning by Udai Pratap Autonomous College, Varanasi
  • Advanced Summer Training Programme on Planning and Management of Natural Resources for Sus­tainable Development by B. R. Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffapur
  • Application of GIS, GPS and Remote Sensing for Disaster Management of Costal Region by St. Peter's Engineering College, Avadi, Chennai
  • Application of Remote Sensing and GIS for Coastal Resources Management by Andhra University Visakhapatanam
  • Modelling Hydrological System by Manipur Science and Technology Council, Central Jail Road, Imphal
  • Remote Sesnsing and GIS based Natural Resource and Hazard Management in Arid to Semi-Arid Re­gions by University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

Fellowships

The JC Bose National Fellowships

The Government of India instituted these fellowships to recognize active scientists and engineers for their outstanding performance and contributions. These fellowships are scientist–specific and very selective and are open to Indian Nationals residing in India who are below the age of 60 years and are having regular positions in various institutions. The fellowships are granted for a period of five years. The value of the fellowship is Rs. 20,000 per month in addition to the Fellow's regular income. In addition, it carries a research grant of Rs. 5.00 lakh per annum. 28 scientists were awarded this fellowship this year.

The Ramanujan Fellowships

The Government of India also instituted Ramanujan Fellowships for brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India. It is especially directed at those scientists who want to return to India from abroad. The Ramanujan Fellows can work in any of the scientific institutions and universities in the country and they are eligible for receiving regular research grants through the extramural funding schemes of various S&T agencies of the Government of India. This fellowship is open to scientists and engineers below the age of 60 years. The duration of Ramanujan Fellowship is also five years. The value of the fellowship is Rs. 50,000 per month for the first 3 years and Rs. 60,000 per month during the last two years. Each Fellow, in addition, receives a research grant of Rs. 5.00 lakh per annum. 7 scientists were selected for the award of this prestigious fellowship this year.


The Ramanna Fellowships

The objective of Ramanna Fellowship is to offer continued core support to researchers who have per­formed excellently well in their completed basic research projects of SERC (viz. FAST TRACK Scheme for Young Scientists, Women Scientists Scheme-A, SERC Individual Research Projects, Nano Science & Tech­nology projects and Swarnajayanti Fellowship projects). The Ramanna Fellows would receive a monthly fellowship along with a research grant of Rs. 10 lakh/year for a period of three years. Seventeen fellowships have been awarded so far in Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering Sciences.

Based on the inputs from the scientific community at large, the SERC revisited the fabric of Ramanna Fellowship and set new benchmarks for award of the fellowship. The SERC approved the following new guidelines:

  1. Successful completion of at least 2 projects under SERC mechanism. Obviously work carried out with support, other than DST, during this period would also be taken into account.
  2. Scientific contributions including Research Papers published, Impact factor/Citations, Patents, Fellow­ ships received etc. judged by respective peer review committees, as the best/outstanding work.

The SERC also approved the institution of a finite number of Ramanna fellowships (Sr) for exception­ally meritorious superannuated scientists who are active in research.

The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY)

Under the attractive scholarship and training scheme, Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), about 200 students were selected this year.

For the students continuing in the Scheme, summer training programmes were again organized this year in a number of institutions across the country. Based on their scholastic performance in their respective courses of study and their performance in the summer training programme, the scholarship was renewed.

Better Opportunities for Young Scientists in Chosen Areas of Science and Technology (BOYSCAST)

The BOYSCAST programme of DST provides opportunities to the young Indian scientists/technolo-gists below the age of 35 years, who hold regular positions in recognized S&T institutes in India, to visit reputed institutions abroad, interact with scientists/technologists there, get exposure to latest research tech­niques and conduct R&D in frontline areas of Science & Technology. Under the BOYSCAST programme, fellowships of three to twelve months duration are provided every year to the selected young Indian scien-tists/technologists for conducting research/undergoing specialized training. During the year, fellowships have been awarded to 71 scientists/technologists for conducting research/undergoing specialized training in overseas research institutes in the areas including Novel/advanced/nano-phase materials, Nano-science & technology, Microfabrication/micromachining, Micro/nano-manufacturing, Intelligent manufacturing, Multicriteria decision making including generic algorithms and neural networks, Fuel cells, Plant microbe interaction, Crop biotechnology, Molecular biology of biotic and abiotic stresses in plants, Genetic engi­neering, Stem cell research, HIV/AIDS research, Modelling for new drug development, Drug delivery sys­tem, Electronic materials and processing, Optoelectronics, Geotectonic models and experiments, Evolution and dynamics of Indian lithosphere, Seismic tomography, Paleoclimatology & Paleoenvironment, Graph theory, Artificial neural net & fuzzy set theory. The selected fellows are in the process of joining the host institutes abroad and start working there. It is envisaged that the expertise gained by these young scientists/ technologists during the fellowship period will lead to initiation/strengthening of the national programmes in these areas as well as further generation and spread of expertise at the national institutes.

Fellowships & International Exposure For Indian S&T Personnel

Indian participation in 57 th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates & Students

23 young Indian researchers were deputed for participation in the 57 th meeting of the Nobel Laureates & Students at Lindau Germany during July 2007. The subject of the meeting was Physiology & Medicine. Indian group comprised of Bachelors, Master's & PhD students and Post docs. The team also visited premier research institutes in Germany.

DST-ICTP Agreement based Fellowship Program

Indian young researchers were awarded “Fellowship” jointly by DST and ICTP to participate in follow­ing four ICTP scientific events at Trieste during April-December 2007.

  • ICTP Summer School and Conference on Automorphic Forms and Shimura Varieties (at Trieste July 9­27, 2007) Field: Mathematics.
  • 2007 ICTP Summer College on Plasma Physics (at Trieste July 30-August 24, 2007) Field: Physics of high and intermediate energies.
  • Advanced School and Conference on statistics & applied probability in life sciences (at Trieste Sept. 24­Oct. 12, 2007) Field Applicable Mathematics-Mathematical Ecology, Differential Equations.
  • International Workshop on Turbulent Mixing & Beyond (at Trieste Aug. 18-26, 2007) Field: Physics of Condensed Matter.

The Indian researchers, awarded fellowship were drawn from IIT Bombay, IMS Chennai, IASST Guwahati, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College, Kolkata, BARC Mumbai, IISc Banga­lore. The Fellowships helped in various ways including (i) Exposure to forefront research ; (ii) New insight relevant for pursuit of doctoral work ; (iii) Short-listing of future research problems/ future line of investiga­tion of on-going research

India-MPG Fellowships

Under Indo-German (DST-MPG Programme) five India-MPG Fellowship were awarded

 

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