Ministry of Human Resources Development on 25 October, 2018 had launched two web portals which will help to promote research and innovation across the country. The two web portals will facilitate research projects in the areas of Social Sciences in India, and research collaboration among Indian and international academia. The scheme for research in Social Sciences is named as IMPRESS and the scheme for collaboration with foreign universities will ne known as SPARC.
The portals were launched by Union Minister for HRD, Prakash Javadekar.
In his briefing for IMPRESS, Prakash Javadekar said that society can not progress without research in social science spectrum. The scheme, named Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS), is expected to fund 1500 projects. Rs. 414 crore have been allotted to the scheme, which means is 20-25 lakh rupees would be allotted per project. The scheme would run for four cycles.
Projects would be selected for funding in an impartial manner. Javadekar said that challenge mode would be applied and selection will be strictly merit-based.
The projects funded through IMPRESS should focus on all relevant Social Sciences area such as state and democracy, urban transformation, media culture and society, employment skills and rural transformation, governance innovation and public policy, innovation and , agriculture and rural development, social media and society, politics law and economics.
Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration or SPARC, is a scheme which will encourage research collaborations between Indian universities and some of the leading universities of the world. The SPARC scheme is furthering the already launched GYAN scheme.