In a move to convince the 25 central ministries, to accelerate the innovative initiative taken by the IITs for improving the technological solutions towards societal needs, HRD ministry called a meeting, and to the great embarrassment, only three ministers joined there.
It was last week when the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar wanted to take up the issue with all the 25 ministries. The three ministers who attended the meeting were -
- M. Venkaiah Naidu (Urban Development)
- Manohar Parrikar (Defence)
- Anil Madhav Dave (Environment)
The HRD Minister had called the meeting for the release of funds for the "IMPRINT" (Impacting Research Innovation and Technology) India and remove all other bottlenecks.
President Pranab Mukherjee had launched the initiative in November 2015 at an event in the presence of Prime Minster Narendra Modi. Indranil Manna, director of IIT Kanpur, who is the national coordinator for the project said that it is a unique initiative with the involvement of so many ministries. It will gradually get support from all. Before that, each ministry decided on its own researchers and research area.
Domain Expert Committees (DEC) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IITs, other top institutes have already found out 259 research projects in 10 sectors, including energy, environment and climate change, manufacturing, healthcare, water resources, defence, nanotechnology and information technology. The HRD ministry would fund 50% of the expenses of each project. The rest of the amount would come from the ministry who were allotted the project.
Right now, Niti Aayog has set up a committee under R.P. Wattal - former finance secretary, to coordinate with all the ministries on the pending projects. That committee is also working on the initiatives of IMPRINT.