The Union Cabinet will soon give its nod to Rs 75,000 monthly scholarship scheme for bright students in higher education institutes to arrest brain drain and encourage innovation, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar today said.
The scholarship, the minister said, is meant for bright sparks at institutes like IITs and universities where required infrastructure is being provided under the Vishwajeet project and Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana.
"We are also starting PM Scholarship. I have already signed the Cabinet note. That is under circulations. It will come to the Cabinet very soon," Javadekar said after inaugurating 'Sumant Sinha ReNew Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Energy and Environment' at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here.
The minister further said the scholarship will be for the best of the best brains who innovate.
"It will be Rs 75,000 per month scholarship, which would be given to 1,000 students (in higher education institutes and universities). Rs 75,000 per month (per head) is not a small thing. This is happening first time in India. I want to stop the brain drain," Javadekar asserted.
The minister expressed hope that this will further push Make in India and help retain talent in the country.
He expressed confidence that the proportion of girl students in IITs will increase to 20 per cent by 2022, from the current 8 per cent.
About other initiatives, he said: "We have already started three major things on the Vishwajeet project through other agencies. The Higher Education Financing Agency is already operational. With Rs 2,000 crore budget support, we are leveraging.... Can improve debt market creating Rs 20,000 crore or USD 3 billion. We want to push research in the higher education system."
The rationale behind the CoE is to establish a world- class research and development facility to develop cutting- edge renewable energy solutions. It is expected to foster exchange of ideas among the industry, the academia and policy makers from across the world to promote faster adoption of renewable energy.
Besides, it looks to offer research and internship opportunities for undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D students in the industry. Developing research reports on renewable energy policy also forms part of the mandate.
The CoE is carrying out research in three broad fields -- integration of large scale solar rooftop capacity with the electricity distribution network using battery storage technology, strengthening of the transmission grid to accommodate flow of renewable energy and development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Chairman and CEO, ReNew Power, Sumant Sinha told reporters that the CoE would also take up more research projects in addition to the three in-hand projects.
Professor V Ramagopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, said: "The CoE will bring together knowledge and research on clean energy, facilitate clean energy investments, and help deploy clean energy technology solutions to establish India as a rising leader in the world of renewable energy.