The Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the SERB – POWER scheme which aims to encourage women researchers to undertake activities in areas of science and engineering.
With the scheme, women researchers will be promoted in academic and research institutions to take up positions at the highest level through two categories of research support: SERB – POWER Fellowship and SERB – POWER Research Grants.
The SERB-Power Fellowship offers a research grant to top-performing women researchers for three years. On the other hand, the SERB – Power Research Grants ensure that funding is carried on to undertake highly impactful research across all disciplines of science or technology.
The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a body that operates under the Department of Science and Technology. At the launch of the scheme which was held virtually, Dr Harsh Vardhan stressed on the importance of empowering women researchers.
He further said that looking at the global scale only 30 per cent of the world's researchers are women. When looked at the figures in our nation, there's only 18.6 per cent of women working full-time in R&D.
He also said that the new Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020 will emphasise on encouraging women scientists.
The fellowship which is launched will be granted to women researchers in the age group of 35-55 years.
The amount given through the fellowship would be ₹15,000 per month along with the regular income. The amount received through this research grant will be of ₹10 lakh per annum for a period of three years.
The women researchers who will be funded with the fellowship will fall under two categories.
The first category will include women scientists belonging to IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, central universities, and national labs of the Central government institutions. All the women scientists will be eligible for funding up to ₹60 lakhs for a period of three years.
The second level comprises scientists as well as researchers from state universities or colleges or academics. They will be eligible for funding up to ₹30 lakhs.