To enhance innovation in electronics, government has launched a new scheme to fund 1500 PhDs, over and above the current intake
Shivangi Narayan | June 7, 2014
It is not difficult to imagine that most of the funky electronic gadgets that we so love to flaunt have all been designed outside India. In fact, India is amongst the last countries in the world for generation of intellectual property rights (IPR) in electronics. There are hardly 50 or so PhDs in electronic design in India every year.
To increase this number and to enhance innovation in electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) and IT/IT enabled services, the department of electronics and IT (DeitY) has launched a new scheme, popularly called ‘the PhD scheme’ to create 1,500 PhDs each in both sectors, a total of 3,000, in the coming period of five years.
According to Ajay Kumar, joint secretary, Electronics & Hardware Manufacturing Division, DeitY, the scheme will be operational from the current academic session. “The PhD scheme with a budget of Rs 450 crore and was approved in February 2014, and will be implemented from this academic session,” he said.
All students applying for PhD in ESDM and IT/ITes in and from the year 2014 would be eligible to avail grants under the PhD scheme. 500 PhDs for each of ESDM and IT/ITes would be full time candidates and have full fellowship support. The other 1,000 PhDs in each sector would be part time and would receive a one-time grant.
All IITs, national institutes of technologies (NITs), Indian institute of science (IISc), all the Indian institutes of science, education and research, central universities, deemed universities under the central government, colleges, institutions of national importance will be eligible for support under the scheme.
An academic committee consisting of distinguished members and DeitY officials will recognise other institutions on the basis of their ability to provide a PhD.
According to Kumar, in order to increase the number of PhDs, the scheme is only for intakes over and above the current intake of the institutions. He said that it would be totally aligned to the industry needs. “We have already started receiving suggestions from industry regarding areas for research and innovation. Various universities have called on the department seeking the number of additional PhDs that they would take up in the sector,” he said.
“The scheme would be a big game changed because the scale at which we are working is huge. Around 3000 PhDs in an area where we typically produce 50 is a big number,” said Kumar.
All big IT and electronics industries have their research and development (R&D) centres here but that doesn’t give any IPR to India, rued Kumar. “We need to have IP generated in India; it is where the wealth lies. In this industry, innovation is everything,” he said.
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