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Bill Introduced in Lok Sabha to Set Up National Research Foundation

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 29-01-2024
Bill Introduced in Lok Sabha to Set Up National Research Foundation Bill and Act 4 min read

On 4th August 2023, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to establish the Anusandhan National Research Foundation.

It's worth noting that the Union Cabinet had previously approved the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 on 28th June 2023, for its introduction in Parliament.

Importance of NRF Bill, 2023:

  • The NRF Bill, 2023 holds significant importance as the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF), upon its passage in Parliament, will provide strategic direction for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in various domains, including natural sciences, mathematical sciences, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences, health, and agriculture.

  • It will also facilitate the interface between humanities, social sciences, and scientific and technological fields, thus providing necessary support for research in these areas.

National Research Foundation (NRF):

  • Once established, the NRF will promote research and development (R&D) and foster a culture of research and innovation in India's universities, colleges, research institutes, and R&D laboratories.

  • The proposed NRF will serve as an apex body for scientific research, in line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), with an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore over five years (2023-2028).

Administrative arm of the NRF

  • The administrative arm of the NRF will be the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and it will be governed by a Controlling Board comprising eminent researchers and professionals from various disciplines. 

  • The Board's ex-officio Chairman will be the Prime Minister, while the Union Minister for Science and Technology and the Union Minister for Education will serve as ex-officio Vice-Chairmen.

  • The NRF's functioning will be overseen by an Executive Council led by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

Functions of NRF:

  • The NRF's key functions include facilitating collaboration between industry, academia, government departments, and research institutions.

  • It will also create mechanisms for interaction with science-related ministries, industries, and state governments, aiming to encourage increased collaboration and spending by the R&D industry. 

Effect of NRF Bill, 2023:

  • With the NRF Bill's enactment, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), established by an Act of Parliament in 2008, will be superseded, and its provisions will be included under the NRF. 

  • The NRF will have a broader mandate covering activities beyond those of the SERB.

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