Involvement of women in leading scientific research projects increasing, says report

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (PTI) The involvement of women as science leaders seem to be increasing as the percentage of them leading research projects has increased, said a recent government report.

Women Principal Investigators participation in research that received extramural research (EMR) support -- through peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanism -- was 28 per cent during 2018-19, as against 24 per cent during 2016-17, according to the Directory of Extramural Research and Development Project 2018-19 report.

The report released by the Department of Science and Technology recently also showed that extramural R&D support by the central government was Rs 2091.04 crore in 2018-19 as compared to Rs 2036.32 crore in 2017-18.

The number of projects supported has increased, it showed.

A total of 3,839 principal investigators undertook 4,616 projects in comparison to 3491 principal investigators undertaking 4,137 projects during 2017-18.

Of this, 64 per cent of the projects were received by 8 states -- Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

The 22 Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) combined received the most 822 projects, followed by 26 National Institute of Technology (NITs), which received 191 projects combines with the financial support of Rs 55.83 crore.

The most financial support went to engineering and technology, while the maximum number of projects went to biological sciences.

DST accounted for the maximum Extramural Research (EMR) support of Rs 1,392.21 crore (67 per cent), followed by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) with Rs 341.37 crore (16 per cent). The two departments together contributed to 83 per cent of the total extramural research and development funding in India.

Scientific and technological activities play a vital role in the economic, social, and physical development of a country.

The growth of scientific and technological activities, its performance, and its impact on society and economy are indicators to assess the effectiveness of planning and policy formulation, the Department of Science and Technology said.

Extramural Research and Development projects support is a peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanism of the Central government to promote, catalyse and advance research and development and innovation in the country and provides special encouragement to scientists to pursue a research career.

Centre for Human and Organisational Resource Development (CHORD) division, formerly known as the National Science and Technology Management Information System, of DST, has been collating, analysing, and disseminating information on extramural research and development projects funded by various scientific agencies.

CHORD has been entrusted with the task of building the information base on resources devoted to scientific and technological activities for policy planning in the country. PTI PR NSD NSD

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