New Delhi: The Department of Science and Technology said it is restructuring its Fund for Improvement of Science and Technology Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (FIST) to cater to high-end requirements of startups and industries and align it with the government’s ‘self-reliant India’ campaign.
The FIST programme will now be reinvented as FIST 2.0 to orient it towards the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to create research and development infrastructure not only for experimental work but also to cater to theoretical work, ideas and entrepreneurship, said Sanjay Dhande, the chairperson of the FIST Advisory Board.
This will create a new paradigm for FIST 2.0, he added.
“The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is restructuring its FIST programme under which it supports scaling up of the network of infrastructural facilities for teaching and research in universities and higher educational institutions to cater to high-end S&T infrastructural requirements of start-ups and industries,” the department said in a statement.
It will also link up programmes like FIST, Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facilities (SAIF), and Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes (SATHI), all of which are designed to set up science and technology infrastructure centres at department, university, regional and national level, it said.
While on an average of about 8,500 researchers use these facilities in centres spread all over India, industries and start-ups involved in research and development, technology and product development have to carry out most high-end experiments and testing of technologies from laboratories outside India.
“The restructuring would also entail a shift from a discipline (tool-centric) based research to interdisciplinary problem solution-centric research,” the statement said.
This would not only encourage Indian-origin researchers in academic institutes and research organisations across the world and resident counterparts to explore collaborative joint ventures to strengthen the science and technology base in India for global development but would also enrol industry in research and development endeavour to bring about direct benefits for the society, it added.