January brings some more cheer for enterprising science policy makers and academicians in this counry, who are constantly on the lookout for new avenues and funds to create a robust scientific workforce.
The buzz in government corridors is that disciplines like biotechnology, bioinformatics, nanotechnoloy, mechatronics and high-performance computing will get a boost in India over the next six years. The Indian government has earmarked close to Rs150 crores in the current five-year plan period (that ends in 2012) to set up 50 new centres of excellence in these disciplines. More funds are expected to be pumped in to set these centres up in the next plan period.
A scientific panel of the government headed by eminent scientist C. N. R. Rao has chosen 35 new proposals for creation of such centres to come up in government and private institutions. The centres will have post-graduate, PhD and post doctoral courses alongside short courses.
January 2010 had also brought similar cheer when the science minister announced doubling of funds for research and development.