ANUSANDHAN NRF BILL 2023 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Education)

News-CRUX-10     8th August 2023        
output themes

Context:  Union Minister of State Science & Technology moved a Bill in the Lok Sabha to establish the Anusandhan National Research Foundation. 

  • The bill, after approval in the Parliament, will establish NRF, an apex body to provide high-level strategic direction of scientific research in the country as per recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), at a total estimated cost of Rs. 50,000 crores during five years (2023-28).

Highlights of the bill

  • Establish NRF: It repeals the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008 and dissolves the Science and Engineering Research Board set up under it.  
    • The Bill provides for establishing the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF).
  • Functions of NRF:  NRF will be the apex body in the country to provide strategic direction for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the fields of: (i) natural sciences including mathematics, (ii) engineering and technology, (iii) environmental and earth sciences, (iv) health and agriculture, and (v) scientific and technological interfaces of humanities and social sciences.
  • Funds for NRF: The Foundation will be financed through: (i) grants and loans from the central government, (ii) donations to the fund, (iii) income from investments of the amounts received by the Foundation, and (iv) all amounts with the Fund for Science and Engineering Research set up under the 2008 Act.
  • Governing Board: NRF will have a Governing Board headed by the Prime Minister of India.  
    • The Board will provide strategic direction to the Foundation and monitor the implementation.  Other members of the Board are: (i) the Union Ministers of Science and Technology, Education as Vice Presidents, (ii) the Principal Scientific Advisor as Member Secretary, and (iii) Secretaries to the Departments of Science and Technology, Biotechnology, and Scientific and Industrial Research.
  • Executive Council:  The Foundation will have an Executive Council to undertake implementation.  
    • The functions of the Executive Council include: (i) considering applications for the grant of financial assistance, (ii) prescribing regulations regarding applications for financial assistance, requirements for extension of assistance, and grounds for revocation of assistance, and (iii) preparing budget of the Foundation and maintaining its accounts.  
    • The Council will have the power to authorise an officer to visit the applicants for grants and verify the accuracy of submissions made by them.