The government is planning to launch a `Prime Minister's Research Fellowship'' for students passing out of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in order to encourage the best talent to take up research.
Towards this, the ministry of human resource development is considering to launch a 'PM Research Fellowship' for around 1,000 students from the next academic year.
Since research needs the best minds and top talent, the government is looking at the IITs to encourage scientific and technological research, officials at the HRD ministry pointed out, adding that the quality of research is directly related to the quality of people who undertake it.
Research is necessary to foster innovation, which in turn is necessary to increasing productivity and raise overall standards of living in the country.
"A committee headed by former IIT Mumbai director and eminent scientist Anil Kakodkar too had recommended that third year students of IITs and NITs should be initiated into PhD programmes," a senior HRD official said.
A meeting of the IIT Council, the top decision making body for these premier technological institutes, is reported to have discussed the modalities for instituting these fellowships at a meeting on Tuesday.
It is envisaged that under this programme, B Tech students in the IITs will register for PhD immediately on completion of the undergraduate course.
It has been suggested that B Tech fourth year course students shall be eligible for fellowships.
The students would write the outline of the research project they wish to undertake and these would be evaluated by committees formed by IIT Board, sources said.
"The idea is to make research attractive to the fresh IIT passouts so that they can focus their energies on pathbreaking research which can throw up solutions and strengthen the academic environment in the long run," an official said.
Higher technical institutions across the world are ranked in terms of their research capabilities and the proposed step will benefit both the students and the institutions.