Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023: A New Era for Indian Research?

5 min read

By Ashutosh Vinay

Published on: February 13, 2024 at 00:30 IST

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023 is a paramount legislation that seeks to foster and promote robust research and development activities within the nation. This Act, passed in August 2023, establishes the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF), an apex body tasked with providing strategic direction and funding for research across various fields.

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023 is a milestone legislation that aims to promote and support scientific research and development in India. Its establishment marks a significant step towards fostering innovation, collaboration, and advancement in various fields of science and technology. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key provisions and implications of this Act.

In this article will delve into the key provisions and implications of the Act, focusing on its potential to revolutionize the research landscape for the betterment of the nation.

The ANRF aims to identify and support cutting-edge research projects across disciplines, fostering an environment where researchers can explore new frontiers and contribute to global knowledge here are some of the goals of the Act

  • Promote a culture of research and innovation: The ANRF aims to foster a vibrant research ecosystem in India by funding high-quality research projects, supporting young researchers, and fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government.
  • Align research with national priorities: The ANRF will prioritize research in areas aligned with India’s national development goals, such as healthcare, agriculture, clean energy, and artificial intelligence.
  • Increase research funding: The Act allocates Rs. 50,000 crores over five years for research funding, marking a significant increase compared to previous budgets.

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023 has the following key features:

  • Establishment of ANRF: The ANRF replaces the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and will consolidate various research funding agencies under its umbrella.
  • Funding mechanisms: The ANRF will offer various funding schemes, including grants for individual researchers, collaborative projects, and infrastructure development.
  • Governance structure: The ANRF will be governed by a Governing Council comprising eminent scientists and experts.
  • Focus on interdisciplinary research: The Act encourages interdisciplinary research and collaboration across different scientific disciplines.
  • Private sector participation: The ANRF aims to encourage greater participation of the private sector in research funding and development.

The cornerstone of the Act is the establishment of the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) as the apex body for research, marking a departure from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and other fragmented funding agencies. This move aims to streamline research governance and enhance coordination.

The Act envisions the ANRF providing high-level strategic direction for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship across diverse domains such as natural sciences, engineering, health, agriculture, and humanities. It emphasizes the formulation of comprehensive roadmaps for short, medium, and long-term research and development (R&D) goals.

The ANRF is governed by a distinguished Governing Council comprising eminent scientists and experts. The Act underscores the importance of transparent and efficient decision-making processes within the foundation, ensuring that the allocation and distribution of funds align with the nation’s research priorities.

Recognizing the interconnected nature of contemporary challenges, the Act encourages collaboration among academia, industry, and government to create a more cohesive research ecosystem. It places a particular emphasis on fostering interdisciplinary research, aiming to address complex challenges through a holistic and collaborative approach.

In a bid to enhance the sustainability and practical application of research outcomes, the Act actively promotes greater participation and investment from the private sector in research funding and development. This collaboration is envisioned to amplify the impact of research and expedite the translation of ideas into tangible solutions.

Under the Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023, the ANRF will administer funds through a merit-based and transparent system. The Act advocates for the allocation of funds to projects and researchers based on their potential societal impact, scientific rigor, and alignment with national priorities. Through a rigorous evaluation process, the ANRF will select projects that exhibit novelty, innovation, and the ability to address critical challenges faced by the nation. The Act also encourages collaborative research efforts and offers additional incentives for partnerships between academic institutions, industrial stakeholders, and government agencies. The ANRF will provide competitive grants, fellowships, and scholarships to support researchers at different stages of their careers.

This Act also proposes the establishment of a systematic evaluation and monitoring mechanism to assess the progress and impact of research projects supported by the ANRF. This will ensure accountability, transparency, and effectiveness in the allocation and utilization of research funds.

A substantial financial commitment is made with the allocation of Rs. 50,000 crores over a five-year period, a significant increase compared to previous budgets. The Act introduces various funding schemes, including grants tailored for individual researchers, collaborative projects, and infrastructure development. This infusion of resources aims to catalyze groundbreaking research initiatives.

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023 seeks to foster research in key priority areas to address the nation’s most pressing challenges and fuel future growth. These priority areas include but are not limited to:

  • Sustainable development and environmental conservation
  • Healthcare and public health
  • Information technology and artificial intelligence
  • Clean energy and renewable resources
  • Agriculture, food security, and rural development
  • National security and defence
  • Social sciences and humanities

Through strategic partnerships with public and private entities, the ANRF will facilitate interdisciplinary research and innovation in these priority areas. By focusing on these domains, the Act aims to harness the power of research to drive sustainable development, economic growth, and societal well-being in India.

One of the cornerstone provisions of the Act is the allocation of funds for scientific research. The ANRF will receive financial support from the central government, which will be utilized to fund research projects across various disciplines. Emphasis will be placed on projects with potential for high impact and societal benefit.

The success of the Act hinges on its effective implementation by the ANRF. Clear guidelines and transparent processes are crucial for efficient allocation of funds and selection of research projects. There are concerns that the ANRF might become bogged down by bureaucracy, hindering its ability to support research effectively. While prioritizing research in national interest areas is important, it is crucial to ensure that other areas of fundamental research are not neglected.

The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Act of 2023 is a transformative legislation set to elevate India’s standing in scientific research and technological advancements. By establishing a robust framework, the Act paves the way for a future where innovation thrives, critical challenges are met, and the nation emerges as a global leader in research and development.

The ANRF becomes a catalyst for excellence, nurturing a community committed to building a prosperous and sustainable future. With the implementation of this Act, India is positioned to unlock its full potential and make significant contributions to the global scientific community. It heralds an era of unprecedented scientific exploration and discovery, shaping India’s role in the global landscape of innovation and knowledge creation.