Knowledge panel contest brings out best of research ideas

The ‘Jnana Shodha’ initiative of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) witnessed educational institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) vying with each other for taking up research in various sectors including public health, higher education and skill development.

In a first of its kind contest, 150 academic institutions competed with each other to find a place in the last 13. The final 13 now have three months time to complete their research and submit final reports to KKC. The commission will provide them grants ranging from Rs one lakh to Rs four lakh.

In June this year, the KKC, headed by renowned scientist and planning commission member K Kasturirangan, invited applications from institutions to undertake short-term research studies across a broad category of subjects ranging from education, methods to improve agriculture to community knowledge.

“The aim of Jnana Shodha was to encourage participation of stakeholders in research activities. The move would enable KKC to partner with various research organisations in exploring innovative ideas to transform Karnataka into a vibrant society,” says senior research associate and project coordinator B S Padmavathi.

By July, KKC received 150 applications which were scrutinised by a team of experts. The topics forwarded were diverse ranging from ‘study on absenteeism and support staff in primary health centres’ to ‘effect of ayurveda and yoga therapy on schizophrenia’.

While one institution had come forward to do a ‘community study’ on ‘health status of ragi users of Hassan,’ another wanted to work on ‘structuring employable skills for BA students in curriculum: A study among BA students of Bangalore University’.

Padmavathi said as many as 26 proposals were shortlisted and students were asked to make presentations which needed to include all the components of the research proposal, including the budget.  

As many as 13 institu- tions/NGOs have been finally selected to undertake research. Pooja Bhagavath Memorial Mahajana PG Centre, Mysore, will take up a study on ‘impact of environmental awareness module among graduate students,’ while Manipal University has been sanctioned a study on ‘biological and behaviour assessment of anaemia among Koraga tribal women in Udupi district’.

In all, four topics under public health, one each under higher education, teacher development and skill development and three each under community knowledge and building knowledge society have been selected in the final list.

Padmavathi said the institutions needed to submit fortnightly progress reports and final reports by November. “We are thinking of incorporating the outcome of the research surveys into the reports published by KKC. The surveys will also be forwarded to the respective departments for implementation,” she said.

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