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VAIBHAV Summit (2 October 2020)

VAIBHAV Summit (2 October 2020)

Why in News:

The virtual summit will be inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 2nd October ’2020 in the virtual presence of registered academia and researchers from across the world.

Context:

VAIBHAV Summit is a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian Researchers and Academicians being organized from 2nd October to 31st October 2020. The aim of the summit is to bring Indian origin luminaries in academic institutes and R&D organizations across the world and resident counterparts on a single platform to debate upon collaboration mechanisms to strengthen academic and S&T base in India for global development.

Background:

Today, India diaspora is making outstanding contribution in the arena of global academics and research.

Currently, more than 6000 academics of Indian origin are part of the world’s 500 educational institutions, of which, over 1000 are associated with the leading research and development institute.

The summit seeks active support and ideation from Indian Diaspora for developing skills of Indian aspirants in alignment with the New Educational Policy.

NEP 2020 aims to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country.

Summary of the Debate

VAIBHAV Summit:

  • It is a global summit of Overseas and Resident Indian scientists and academicians.
  • The whole idea was mooted by honorable Prime Minister during one of the interactions with Indian scientists and he was of the opinion that while there have been multiple interactions at different levels Added by @exam_mentor Instagram post #VAIBHAV Follow @exam_mentor to  improve your knowledge ??@exam_mentor???? . ??@exam_mentor . @exam_mentor  Source: mygovindia #currentaffairs#india#UPSC#SSCCGL#generalknowledge#generalscience#generalstudy#ssc#afcat  ...between the Indian scientists overseas and the Indian domestic scientists but we need a structured platform where we could extend this kind of synergy in developing the science for tomorrow in a more structured forum.
  • This is a part of deliberation, one moth long deliberation, almost 200 Indian institutions are involved and multiple institutions from various countries are also involved and through these collaborations, the idea is to come up with structured programs.
  • This is a top down initiative, it is coming from the Prime Minister Office, but it’s also a bottom-up initiative in the sense, 200 institutions are now connected from India with multiple universities abroad. The idea is to discuss debate, identify real problems, identify where the collaborations are possible.

Objectives:

  • To leverage the experience and expertise of the Indian scientists overseas to participate with India’s journey of technology development and which ultimately will lead to achieving the technological excellence and leading to the economic growth.
  • To bring, large number of Indian scientists who are in different parts of the world, on a virtual platform and interact with scientists in India, on different subjects and come out with a roadmap as to how research can be done to come up with better ideas, better inventions, better discoveries and ultimately India to become a knowledge power.
  • To lay proper policy framework with proper funding over a long term basis which will enabled the scientists to work on problems and find solutions and those solutions have to be also made use of by the industry to actually take it to the final product.

Key Focus Areas:

  • Quantum technologies
  • Communications technologies
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Computational and data sciences
  • Aerospace technologies

Mechanism:

  • It will be followed by online month-long deliberation sessions among researchers.
  • Panel discussion on 18 verticals spread over 80 horizontals.
  • Leading to more than 200 sessions.
  • Participation of 200 academic and R&D institute of India.
  • 1500 panellists across the world.
  • More than 3,000 overseas Indian origin academicians and scientists from 55 countries.
  • More than 10,000 resident academicians and scientists are taking part in the summit.

Need of such Summit:

  • The problem of India is not with respect to knowledge generation, India ranks third according to the National Science Foundation Data last year, and India ranks third, only behind China and USA in terms of paper publications. The actual problem is converting knowledge back to wealth.
  • There are not many people still interacting with the Indian scientists and even it’s also very asymmetric in the way, there are schemes for international scholars to come and work in India but there are no schemes for Indian scholars to go and spend some time in some of the finest institutions in the world.

Way Forward:

  • Implementation on the ground is necessary and that is where Indian institutions can play a major role.
  • We need to be able to enter into more joint programs with Universities abroad. Indian PhD. Students and faculty should go abroad, spend time in various laboratories, and gain that International exposure.
  • India needs to learn from countries outside like USA, Japan and UK. These countries are very successful in converting knowledge that they generate in to academia, in to solutions to the real problem.

Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN)

It was launched by Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2015.

Objectives:

  • To enlarge and deepen the interface of India’s institutions of higher learning and globally recognized institutions of academic eminence
  • To increase the footfalls of reputed international faculty in the Indian academic institutes.
  • Provide opportunity to our faculty to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas.
  • To provide opportunity to our students to seek knowledge and experience from reputed International faculty.
  • To create avenue for possible collaborative research with the international faculty.

VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty Scheme

  • A dedicated programme for foreign scientists and academicians, with emphasis on non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin and overseas citizens of India to work as adjunct faculty in the government-funded academic and research institutions.
  • It will be implemented by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Scientists or senior researchers abroad – of Indian origin or otherwise – can collaborate with faculties here.

SPARC (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration)

  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world from 28 selected nations.

Important points made by the Guests

Dr. V. K. Saraswat, Chief Patron, VAIBHAV Summit

  • We have identified 18 verticals and these verticals belong to different parts of our growth which we want to have, for example; agriculture, health, energy and transportation and variety of things.
  • In each vertical, there are technological domains, in which the scientists can interact with each other and identify the problems and the gaps where we can work together, fill those gaps through a continued interactions over a long period of time and come up with some kind of innovation, because ultimately we would like to get the whole knowledge converted into innovation so that it can leads to the economic growth.
  • The idea of VAIBHAV is not a one time; it is a continued operation of the scientists from abroad and the scientists from India working together on common problems, to solve the problems for the countries, for the globe and for India in particular.
  • In these times of pandemic, certainly we need to really workout immediate solutions which will help the humanity whether they are drugs or the vaccines.
  • This program envisages that it will have a very strong policy framework, it will have a strategy for implementation of each and every project which is identified by these collaborative efforts over the next month which are going to take place, it will also ensure that there is a strategy for solving those problems by way of providing the resources at both the ends that is in India as well as in the Foreign Universities and with the foreign human resource of Indian diasporas, which is available and which will also ensure that the mechanisms are properly supported at both the ends.
  • The advantage of this particular interaction being virtual and during these discourses which will take place between the Indian scientists and the foreign scientists, it will enable Indian students community and Indian academic community and the industry community to take a look at the kinds of problems which we are trying to solve and also they will be in a position to contribute because the doors will be kept open even for those who want to participate in this discussion, they can participate.
  • When the projects are finalized and work starts then many of these people can join in this project for finding solutions.

Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi

  • Prime Minister once said ‘’Science is global, Technology is local’’ and we need to make use of the best science available anywhere in the world, do these collaborations and see if we can solve the problems that exist in the country.
  • There are multiple initiatives that have been launched by GoI, to welcome International scientist to work with Indian researchers, for example; there is a program from MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) called GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Networks), there is a program from DST (Department of Science & Technology) called VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty Scheme and there is another program from MHRD called SPARC (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration).
  • So, in the last few years alone at least three structured programs have come up where the international scholars can come and work with Indian scientists, but VAIBHAV is going beyond that because many of these programs though structured but haven’t scaled up much.

Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Head, Business Engagement, Faculty of Science & Engineering, University of Manchester

  • There is a lot of enthusiasm, there is a lot of desire from International Universities like Manchester to engage very actively with Indian Universities, Indian industries and Indian Research Organizations, but there has to be structured mechanism for this to happen, there has to be funding mechanism to support this, to support collaborative R & D, to support two way movement of people, both from the International University to India and also Indian scientists have opportunity to visit us.
  • If there is going to be an outcome from this summit that will allow for this kind of structure funded interactions to happen, then India and also the International Universities will greatly benefit from that.
  • New collaborations, new partnerships which are properly funded are nice ideas but if the resources for realizing those ideas are not available then it’s just ideas, it does not get anywhere.

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