`Million scholarships for young students to pursue science’

December 3rd, 2008 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBangalore, Dec 3 (IANS) To catch them young and make them pursue a career in science, the United Progressive Alliance government is offering scholarships to one million young students in the age group of 10-15 years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Wednesday.”My government has recently launched a special scholarship scheme titled ‘Innovation in science pursuit for inspired research (Inspire)’ to attract middle school and high school-going students to the study of science and boost their career prospects,” Singh said while inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

As part of its commitment to promote the study of basic sciences, which got relegated by engineering, technology and other disciplines, the union government will provide research grants of Rs.1 million per year for five years to about 1,000 young researchers with contract positions under the ‘assured opportunities for research careers’ scheme, besides scholarships to senior students for continuing science education.

“My government has done a lot to boost science education and instill scientific temper in students, teachers, research scholars and scientists. Among the initiatives are the Ramanujan Fellowships to attract young talented scientists to work within the country and the J.C. Bose Fellowships to reward outstanding senior scientists. Emoluments of research students have also been increased,” Singh told a gathering of about 1,000 scientists, research scholars and students.

On the centenary occasion, the prime minister reminded the institute’s faculty and students the great contributions made by eminent scientists, teachers and renowned scholars such as Jagdish Chandra Bose, Ramanujan, P.C. Ray, S.N. Bose, C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha in pushing the frontiers of science, making new discoveries and breakthroughs at a time when India was politically and economically in colonial chains.

“There is a feeling that this momentum has not been sustained in post-independent India though our scientific traditions go back to many millennia. Some of the fundamental concepts of modern mathematics and science originated in India. We, however, lost contact with these roots, probably under the impact of western knowledge that came to India with colonial rule,” Singh observed.

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