India's youth and their emerging scientific spirit
India's youth and their emerging scientific spirit
February 25, 2022
As per United Nations Population Fund, India presently has its largest ever adolescent (ages 10-19) and youth (ages 15-24) population so far and projects that it will continue to do so till the year 2030. This offers the country an unprecedented opportunity to leverage this demographic benefit to make waves during “Amrit Kaal”—the next 25 years upto the 100th year of Independence. This young population is also benefitting from the indigenous progress that India has made in various scientific and technological avenues. More and more children in India can now dream of becoming astronauts thanks to the continuous notable advancement being made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Such goals were out of reach for our youth till even a decade ago.
"Innovation is the key to realizing the dream of a new India", the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi resonated with the masses. The vision is to encourage the younger generation to develop technological wonders and stimulate rational and analytical thinking. To enable this, the Government has implemented numerous Schemes and programs all aimed at encouraging and even rewarding creativity and innovations to strengthen the scientific turf of modern India. Key Schemes and programs are presented below:
- MANAK: Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge (Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology)
MANAK is a program under DST that aims to generate one million innovative ideas relating to science for instilling a creative thinking culture among students (Classes 6 to 10). The objective is to provide innovative science and technology ideas a chance for development, especially those under themes such as Digital India, Swachh Bharat, and Make in India. Read more to know about the selection and participation process.
- PRISM: Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups, and MSMEs (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)
PRISM Scheme provides grants, technical guidance, and mentoring to individual innovators and perpetuates their ideas, thus creating new enterprises. Read more about the Scheme here.
- ACROSS: Atmosphere and Climate Research-Modeling Observing Systems and Services (Ministry of Earth Sciences)
The ACROSS Scheme is an initiative by the Ministry of Earth Sciences concerning atmosphere science related projects and covers several other aspects of weather and climate services. The eight sub-schemes under ACROSS may potentially generate many new ideas and future employment. Read more here.
- YUVIKA: Yuva Vigyani Karyakram (Department of Space and ISRO)
YUVIKA, also known as the Young Scientist Program, aims to educate youngsters with a fundamental understanding of space and science technology. The Scheme curriculum comprises two weeks of residential training at four ISRO centers: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerela, U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Karnataka, Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Gujarat and North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) in Meghalaya, along with a visit to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Andhra Pradesh. Read more here.
- Atal Tinkering LAB (Department of Space and ISRO)
Atal Tinkering Laboratories are set-up in identified schools across India with the goal of cultivating one million children as neoteric inventors. The idea is to encourage curiosity, creativity, and imagination in the youth. ATL labs provide practical learning and application of science and technology and an opportunity for entrepreneurial and computational thinking.
- SHARP: Support for Human Resource Academics and Research Programme (Indian Council of Medical Research)
SHARP is an ICMR initiative that facilitates advanced training for promising health research professionals. SHARP emerges as a research opportunity for Medical Graduates, encouraging them to explore and innovate advancements. The Scheme also provides exposure to the latest scientific developments to scientists across the nation.
- BARC: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (Department of Atomic Energy)
BARC provides orientation and training programs for Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) employees and students. Their training schools conduct one-year courses for science postgraduates and engineering graduates. Read more to apply for the orientation courses affiliated with BARC.
Youth on the move!
In recent years, several schemes by different councils and departments of the nation have been providing youngsters with a means to explore their scientific temper, along with generating employment opportunities, upscaling skills, and making them learn about innovations in science and technology.
Young India aspires to become self-reliant and technologically driven, and such initiatives and schemes are laying the foundation for a stronger nation. Science and technology are the way forward and India’s youth is presented with a chance to be the torch bearer in the journey of becoming a tech-savvy and scientifically advanced India.