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Harsh Vardhan Launches DST Initiative SERB–POWER for Women Scientists

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DST launches schemes for women scientists researchers in science and engineeringOn October 29, 2020 Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology e-launched a scheme titled ‘SERB-POWER’(Science and Engineering Research Board-Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research) ,which is designed exclusively for women scientists. The scheme has been initiated by SERB, a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

Aim of the Scheme

To encourage emerging and distinguished women researchers in academic and research institutions to undertake R&D(Research & Development)  activities in frontier areas of science and engineering.

Key People

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Chairman, SERB & Secretary, DST; Professor Sandeep Verma, Secretary, SERB and Scientists from Ministry of Science and Technology attended the launch event.

Points to be Noted

i.The scheme mitigates the gender inequality in science and engineering research in various S&T(Science & Technology) programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.

ii.The scheme has 2 components namely, SERB-POWER Fellowship and SERB- POWER Research Grants.

iii.SERB-POWER Fellowships and Grants will serve as a benchmark of recognition in the national scenario.

Important Info

  • 30% of the world’s researchers are women, globally.
  • 6% of full time R&D personnel in India are women.

Features of the Components of SERB – POWER Scheme

SERB-POWER Fellowship

Age-Women researchers who are between 35-55 years of age are eligible for this fellowship.


  • In addition to the regular income, fellowship of Rs 15,000 will be provided.
  • Apart from this, Research grants of Rs. 10 lakh per annum and Overhead of Rs. 90,000/- per annum are also provided.

Duration-The fellowship is for 3 years, without any extension. It can be availed by the women researchers once in a career.

Identification of the fellowship & Total fellowship

  • The Search-cum-Selection Committee helps to identify the POWER Fellowship
  • It is proposed to institute 25 POWER Fellowships per year and not over 75 at any time.

SERB –POWER Research Grants

Funding Provided in 2 Categories

Under this research grant funding will be provided in 2 categories namely,

  • Level I

For the following applicants the scale of funding is up to 60 lakhs for 3 years:

IITs( Indian Institutes of Technology), IISERs(Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Central Universities, and National Labs of Central Government Institutions.

  • Level II

For the following applicants from State Universities / Colleges and Private Academic Institutions, the scale of funding is up to 30 lakhs for 3 years.

Total Grants

A total of 50 Power Grants each will be sanctioned in Level I & Level II per annum.

Regulations-POWER Grant will be regulated through terms of reference conforming to SERB-CRG(Science and Engineering Research Board-Core Research Grant) guidelines.

Sanctions-A total of 50 Power Grants each will be sanctioned in Level I & Level II per annum.

Recent Related News:

i.On September 17, 2020, Mukhyamantri Mahila Utkarsh Yojana (MMUY), a scheme of providing interest-free loans of Rs 1 lakh to women’s groups was launched in Gujarat by its Chief Minister (CM) Vijay Rupani.

ii.On September 11, 2020 As a step to empower women economically and socially, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh(AP), launched ‘YSR Aasara’ scheme.


Harsh Vardhan– Chandni Chowk, New Delhi