• Seven research proposals from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi have been selected under ‘Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration’ (SPARC).
• These research projects are in areas such as energy and water sustainability, advanced sensors, electronics and communication, infectious diseases and clinical research, humanities, and social sciences, nano, biotechnology and applications, and advanced functionality and metamaterials and basic sciences.
• The SPARC grants will help IIT-Mandi to collaborate with international universities in the US, France, Germany, UK, and Taiwan (Republic of China), and researchers from across the globe to undertake joint research.
• IIT Mandi will also be able to offer short term courses to students in these fields.
Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)
• “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)” is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
• Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur is the National Coordinating Institute to implement the SPARC programme.
The Objective of the Scheme
• SPARC aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world.
• Institutes are selected from 28 selected nations to jointly solve problems of national and international relevance.
• Under this Scheme, 600 joint research proposals will be awarded for 2 years to facilitate research collaboration between Indian research groups with the best in class faculty and renowned research groups in the leading universities of the world, in areas that are at the cutting edge of science or with direct social relevance to the mankind, specifically India.
• A set of 5 Thrust Areas which are Fundamental Research, Emergent Areas of Impact, Convergence, Action-Oriented Research, and Innovation-Driven and sub-theme areas in each thrust area has been identified.
• A set of Nodal Institutions (NI), from India, for each participating foreign country has been identified.
• IIT Mandi is the nodal institute for Germany.
• The role of a NI is to help and coordinate with willing Participating Indian Institutions to forge an alliance with the Institutions of the concerned participating foreign country.
• Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
• The IPR developed out of the project will be decided as per norms of the participating Institutes. The Indian Institute will get the benefits out of Patents / Royalty, rather than the foreign institute or the individual faculty.
• All disputes will have Indian jurisdiction. Any special deviation will be resolved by MHRD through the SPARC Liaison cell and approved by the Apex Committee.
Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: SPARC scheme