Centre tables Bill in LS to create CSIR academy

The Academy for Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday. Once passed by Parliament, the Bill paves the way for creating the CSIR academy, which will enjoy a deemed university status.

The CSIR academy will work on a hub and spoke model. It will admit students in its 37 science and engineering laboratories which are expected to produce 1,000 PhDs in science and 120 PhDs in engineering from the fifth year onwards. Currently CSIR produces 400 PhDs every year. But the degrees are awarded by an university with which the student has to register.

Creating CSIR’s own academy was necessitated due to China’s rapid advance in science and technology in the last two decades. In the 1980s, India produced more PhDs in engineering than China. But in 2003, India produced 6,318 PhDs compared to China’s 12,238.

A National Knowledge Commission survey shows that between 1991 and 2000, the number of doctorates in India grew by merely 20 per cent, compared to China’s 85 per cent. Absence of skilled manpower hampers the economic growth.

The government has approved almost Rs 81 crore for the AcSIR – Rs 19.1 crore in the 11th plan and Rs 61.79 crore in the 12th plan. Since there will not be any additional brick and mortar presence for the academy – it will function from existing CSIR units with its Ghaziabad unit playing the main role – there will not be any capital expenditure.

While more than 4,000 scientists of CSIR will double up as faculty, the academy is likely to spur the innovations by infusing young students with fresh ideas in the laboratories. The academy would provide a big exposure to students,  CSIR director general Samir Brahmachari told Deccan Herald.

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