‘Accelerate Vigyan’ To Strengthen Scientific Research Mechanism
To provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs, and workshops across the country, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV).
- Straight off the block, AV has already called for applications under its ‘ABHYAAS’ component for the Winter Season.
- The primary objective of this inter-ministerial scheme is to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to research careers and knowledge-based economy.
- Recognizing that all research has its base as development of quality and well-trained researchers, AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshop on a national scale.
- As for the ‘ABHYAAS’ programme, it is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential PG/PhD students by means of developing their research skills in selected areas across different disciplines or fields.
- It has two components: High-End Workshops (‘KARYASHALA’) and Research Internships (‘VRITIKA’). This is especially important for those researchers who have limited opportunities to access such learning capacities / facilities / infrastructure.
- The current call for applications invites researchers for the winter season (Dec 2020-Jan 2021) ‘KARYASHALA’ and ‘VRITIKA’.
‘SAMMOHAN’ And ‘SAYONJIKA’
- Another new component under AV is ‘SAMMOHAN’ that has been sub-divided into ‘SAYONJIKA’ and ‘SANGOSHTI’.
- SAYONJIKA is an open-ended program to catalogue the capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country. SANGOSHTI is a pre-existing program of SERB.
India’s Digital Journey
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Communications and Law & Justice, has said that the digital journey has focused on empowerment, inclusion and digital transformation and its positive impact is being felt in all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens.
He addressed a video conference marking celebration of 5 years journey of India’s Digital India Programme in New Delhi on July 1.
The Digital India journey in the past 5 years has centred around:
- empowerment, inclusion, digital transformation.
It has positively impacted all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens identity management through:
- Direct Benefit Transfer
- Common Services Centres
- Mobile based UMANG services
- Participatory governance through MyGov
- Jeevan Pramaan
- Ayushman Bharat
- Soil Health Cards
- SWAYAM PRABHA
- National Scholarship Portal, e-Pathshala, and so on. A ‘National AI Portal’ and ‘Responsible AI for Youth’ was launched recently to lay the foundation for an AI-powered future. Digital India’s initiatives have also played a pivotal role during the CoVID-19 situation, such as Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and Social media platforms etc.
Progress So Far
- Number of e-Services has increased from 2,463 in 2014 to 3,858 till May 2020 and daily average electronic transactions have increased from 66 lakh in 2014 to 16.3 crore in 2020, the Union Minister shared that Aadhaar has been issued to 125.7 crore residents and 4,216 crore authentications have been facilitated.
- Direct Benefit Transfer to the tune of Rs 11.1 lakh crore has been disbursed for 426 schemes from 56 Ministries and has led to the saving of Rs 1.7 lakh crore due.
- Jan Dhan Accounts have reached 38.73 crore beneficiaries, with a total of Rs 1.33 lakh crore in beneficiaries bank accounts.
- Mobile and internet connections are being used by 117 crore and 68.8 crore users, respectively. DigiLocker, launched on July 1, 2015, has 378 crore issued documents.
- Unified Mobile App for New-Age Governance (UMANG) has 860+ services operational and more than 3 Crore downloads have taken place.
- MyGov has been launched to facilitate participatory governance in the country, with a total of 1.17 Crore registered participants, while facilitating the Mann Ki Baat of the Prime Minister.