Prakash Javadekar Launches IMPRESS And SPARC Portals To Promote Research And Innovation

“A country achieves prosperity on a sustainable basis only through innovation which can happen only by good research and which is currently a major focus area of the government,” he said while addressing a press conference.
MHRD launched two web portals which will serve to promote research and innovation in the country. The two web portals will facilitate research projects in the areas of Social Sciences by academics in India, and research collaboration among Indian and Foriegn Academics. The scheme for research in Social Sciences is IMPRESS and the scheme for collaboration with foreign universities is SPARC. The portals were launched by Union Minister for HRD, Prakash Javadekar,  who briefed about both the schemes.


In his briefing for IMPRESS, Mr. Prakash Javadekar said that society can not progress without research in social science spectrum. The scheme, named Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS), is expected to fund 1500 projects. Rs. 414 crore have been allotted to the scheme, that is 20-25 lakh rupees would be allotted per project. The scheme would run for four cycles. Projects would be selected for funding in an impartial manner. Mr. Javadekar said that challenge mode would be applied and selection will be strictly merit-based. The projects funded through IMPRESS should focus on all relevant Social Sciences area such as  state and democracy, urban transformation, media culture and society, employment skills and rural transformation, governance innovation and public policy, innovation and , agriculture and rural development, social media and society, politics law and economics. The quality benchmark for IMPRESS is that only such universities which are under 12B schemes of UGC. Each project shall conclude in 3 years and will be monitored by ICSSR.


Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) is a scheme which will encourage research collaborations between Indian universities and some of the leading universities of the world. The SPARC scheme is furthering the already launched GYAN scheme. Rs. 418 crores have been allotted for this scheme. Under this scheme funding would be provided under three categories – below 50 lakhs, below 75 lakhs, and below 1 crore (project funding). Each team that will be granted funding under this scheme shall comprise of eight members – 2 faculty members each from the Foreign University and Indian University and 2 students each from the foreign university and Indian university. The quality benchmark for SPARC is that only such Indian institutes can apply which are in top 100 NIRF ranking or top 100 NIRF subject ranking. For foreign universities the benchmark is either top 500 of QS ranking or top 200 of QS subject ranking.

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