Jammu and Kashmir, known for its scenic beauty, has often faced challenges in terms of resources and opportunities for its youth. However, the Government of India is taking a special initiative to promote startups and research and development (R&D) activities in the state. Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh recently announced a special drive for startups and R&D activities in the new and emerging areas in the University ecosystems of North Eastern region, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Facilities For Startups In Jammu & Kashmir Universities
The initiative aims to provide basic infrastructure and enabling scientific facilities to the universities in the region, in addition to several other states in the country. This move is expected to create new opportunities and promote innovation among the youth of the state, contributing to the overall development of the region.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh, has announced a special drive to promote StartUps and R&D activities in the new and emerging areas of the University ecosystems of the North Eastern region, Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Vishwavidyalaya Anusandhan Utsav 2023
The announcement was made during the "Vishwavidyalaya Anusandhan Utsav 2023" held at Dr Ambedkar International Centre. The initiative aims to provide basic infrastructure and enabling scientific facilities to universities in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Telangana, and Rajasthan.
India's Self-Reliance Based on Five Pillars
Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that India's self-reliance would be based on five pillars- economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography, and demand. To achieve this vision, universities and related institutions must generate high-caliber human resources as repositories of national intellectual wealth in the Science and Technology sector. He emphasized the importance of strengthening the foundation of relevant R&D infrastructure across the Nation to contribute to the development of a self-reliant India.
“In India’s quest for competitive advantage, our universities and related institutions need to play a major role towards generating high calibre human resources as repositories of national intellectual wealth in the S&T sector. In light of the vision by our Hon’ble PM that India's self-reliance will be based on five pillars -- economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography, and demand it is prudent to strengthen the foundation of relevant R&D infrastructure across the Nation to contribute to the development of a self-reliant India,” Dr. Singh said at the inauguration of the Utsav.
Infrastructure Schemes In Jammu & Kashmir Startups
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) supports infrastructure related schemes like FIST, PURSE, SAIF, etc. towards augmenting/facilitating the R&D equipment for research activities at various Universities/ Institutes and other academic organizations, as well as promote industry-academia linkages. Dr. Singh stressed that it's crucial to provide quality R&D infrastructure to the youth of our country to pursue research in all areas of Science and Technology.
Dr. Singh pointed out that flexible infrastructure grants are being provided to universities nationwide to keep up the vigour of conducting highly challenging R&D activities with an investment of Rs 950 Crores till date. The Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) with a nationwide reach supports the university’s research ecosystem by making high-end research equipment available to our academicians/scientists, enabling our universities to compete with global standards.
Scientific Research For J&K Startups
The Honourable Prime Minister's vision is to make the country 'the most advanced laboratory for modern science' in the 'Amrit Kaal' - the next 25 years leading to the centenary of India's Independence. Dr. Singh pointed out that the government is committed to investing heavily in building research infrastructure in the country. The Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) supports the university's research ecosystem by making high-end research equipment available to academicians/scientists, enabling universities to compete with global standards.
Dr. S Chandrasekhar, DST Secretary said that the future of scientific research will call for deeper and more widespread multidisciplinary collaboration among countries which will enable researchers to optimize the precondition of securing sustainable scientific collaboration. India can escalate this through deeper collaborations while hosting the G20 nations.
Launch of SUPREME Scheme
Dr. Singh launched a new scheme called SUPREME, which is a first-of-its-kind program by the Government of India. It aims to provide financial support for repair/upgradation/maintenance/retrofitting or acquiring additional attachments to increase the functional capabilities of existing analytical instrumentation facilities (AIFs).
What Is SUPREME Scheme?
The Support for Up-gradation Preventive Repair and Maintenance of Equipment (SUPREME) is a pioneering initiative launched by the Government of India. This program aims to provide financial assistance to analytical instrumentation facilities for their repair, maintenance, up-gradation, retrofitting or acquisition of additional attachments to enhance their functional capabilities. To be eligible for funding support, the analytical instrumentation facilities must have been created under the projects supported by DST, and the institutions where they are located should be recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The duration of support will not exceed three years, and the funding pattern for private and government-owned institutions will be 75:25, while state-funded institutions will receive 100% funding. In selecting proposals for funding support, the academic and research merits of organizations will be evaluated, along with the benefits that their revival of the research facility will provide to the scientific community, MSMEs, and startups. The selection process will be carried out through a peer-review mechanism and a visit to the organization, if necessary. The Expert Committee will evaluate the proposals and assist DST in making the final selection. The Ministry of Science and Technology is the nodal ministry for this scheme.
Knowledge Sharing Platform in J&K
Universities supported under various programmes showcased their research accomplishments, novel findings, and technologies under the common platform for knowledge sharing provided by Vishwavidyalaya Anusandhan Utsav. A book on the achievements of various universities supported under PURSE was also released during the event.