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National Research Foundation Bill Receives Cabinet's Nod to Boost Research Ecosystem Nationwide

The establishment of the National Research Foundation is expected to accelerate India's progress in various fields, driving economic growth, and improving the quality of life for its citizens.

Shivam Dwivedi
Cabinet Approves National Research Foundation Bill to Boost Research Ecosystem Nationwide (Photo Source: PIB)
Cabinet Approves National Research Foundation Bill to Boost Research Ecosystem Nationwide (Photo Source: PIB)

The Union Cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has granted its approval for the introduction of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 in Parliament. The bill aims to establish the National Research Foundation, which will play a crucial role in nurturing, expanding, and promoting Research and Development (R&D) endeavors across various educational institutions, research centers, and laboratories in India.

The National Research Foundation is envisioned as an apex body that will provide strategic guidance and direction for scientific research in the country, in line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP). The establishment of the NRF is expected to contribute significantly to fostering a culture of research and innovation throughout the nation. It will serve as a catalyst for driving advancements and breakthroughs in diverse fields of study.

The NRF is proposed to receive a total estimated budget of Rs. 50,000 crore during the initial five years of its operation, spanning from 2023 to 2028. This substantial financial allocation highlights the government's commitment to enhancing research capabilities and encouraging scientific exploration.

The administrative responsibilities of the National Research Foundation will be entrusted to the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The foundation will be governed by a distinguished Governing Board comprising eminent researchers and professionals from various disciplines.

To ensure effective oversight, the Prime Minister will serve as the ex-officio President of the Board, while the Union Minister of Science & Technology and the Union Minister of Education will act as ex-officio Vice-Presidents. Furthermore, the Executive Council, chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, will oversee the day-to-day functioning of the NRF.

A key objective of the NRF is to foster collaboration among academia, industry, government departments, and research institutions. It aims to establish an interface mechanism that facilitates the participation and contribution of industries and state governments in addition to scientific and line ministries.

By forging strong partnerships, the NRF intends to create a conducive environment for increased research and development spending by industries. It will also focus on creating a robust policy framework and implementing regulatory processes that encourage collaboration between different stakeholders.

In addition to its overarching responsibilities, the National Research Foundation will subsume the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), established by an act of Parliament in 2008. By integrating the activities of SERB into the NRF, the bill ensures a more comprehensive and expanded mandate for the foundation.

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