Thursday 24 August 2017

Just Released | India: Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20 | by NITI Aayog, 2017

India: Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20
by NITI Aayog, New Delhi, 2017.

On 1st January 2015, the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog came into existence as the government's premier think tank. Subsequently, vide Office Order dated 09/05/2016 (Annexure 1), the Prime Minister's Office advised the NITI Aayog to prepare Fifteen Year Vision, Seven Year Strategy and Three Year Action Agenda documents. Accordingly, the present document is being published to recommend policy changes and programmes for action from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the last three years of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. A second document containing the Fifteen Year Vision and Seven Year Strategy is currently under preparation at the NITI Aayog.
The Vision, Strategy and Action Agenda exercise represents a departure from the Five Year Plan process, followed with a handful of discontinuities until the fiscal year 2016-17. The 12th Five Year Plan was the last of these plans. It has been felt that with an increasingly open and liberalized economy, we needed to rethink the tools and approaches to conceptualizing the development process. The proposed shift represents an important step in this direction. 
The Action Agenda has been prepared as an integral part of the exercise leading to the Vision and Strategy document. It has been fast tracked and released first, keeping in view that with the start of fiscal year 2016-17, it is of immediate relevance for policy implementation. Work on the Vision and Strategy document is already far advanced. 
The Three Year Action Agenda offers ambitious proposals for policy changes within a relatively short period. It is understood that while some may be fully implemented during the three-year period, implementation of others would continue into the subsequent years. Where relevant, we have included possible actions by the states to complement the efforts of the Centre. 
For holistic development, all ministries and departments must progress simultaneously and harmoniously. Therefore, as a roadmap for future progress, the Action Agenda attempts to cover nearly all aspects of the economy. Despite this wide coverage, an effort has been made to present all action points with the utmost clarity. To ensure that the document does not become unduly long, however, we have deliberately refrained from providing the detailed rationale for each proposed action. Where appropriate and necessary, we propose to undertake this latter task in the Vision and Strategy document.
The Action Agenda is the result of the hard work and efforts of a vast number of individuals and institutions. The NITI Aayog has been lucky to have three world-renowned scholars as its Members: Shri Bibek Debroy, Dr. V. K. Saraswat and Dr. Ramesh Chand. It also has a number of outstanding Advisers leading its work in different areas of policy. Working under the guidance of the Members, the Advisers and their teams prepared the core inputs that formed the backbone of the final document. I greatly appreciate the contributions of the Members, Advisers and their teams to the Action Agenda. 
Inputs were also sought and received from State Governments, Union Territories and Ministries of the Central Government. Extensive consultations were held with groups of scientists, economists, journalists, voluntary organisations, industry associations and experts in education, health, culture, transport and other fields. Many outside experts also provided extremely useful written inputs. Annexure 2 at the end of the document lists the outside experts exhaustively with the hope that I have not missed anyone. I sincerely thank the states, union territories, Ministries, outside experts and institutions for the gift of their ideas and time.
Shri Amitabh Kant, the Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog, skilfully steered the entire process to its logical conclusion. The task simply could not have been completed without his leadership in navigating and guiding all those involved throughout the process. I am deeply appreciative of the energy and time he generously provided. 
A dedicated team of six talented young policy analysts, who recently joined the NITI Aayog, worked under my close direction to convert the inputs provided by the Advisers and outside experts into a unified document. They are: Chinmaya Goyal, Atisha Kumar, Urvashi Prasad, Vaibhav Kapoor, Rahul Ahluwalia and Devashish Dhar. This part of the exercise consisted of preparation of different chapters, fitting them into a single whole and revising the draft multiple times. The process also included several discussions lasting hours. Atisha and Chinmaya jointly performed the key functions of coordination and editing of the document throughout the process. It was a real pleasure for me working with this brilliant, energetic and enthusiastic team of young analysts. 
Pavithra Rangan oversaw the publication and production of the document. My office staff, headed by Dr. Prem Singh, provided critical logistical support. Prem not only saw to it that all went smoothly but also provided critical intellectual inputs at all stages of the work.
In draft form, the Action Agenda was circulated to all members of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog at its third meeting on 23rd April 2017. Subsequently, several states and their Chief Ministers provided comments on that draft document. A concerted effort has been made to incorporate these inputs as well as the remarks made by the Chief Ministers at the Governing Council meeting in this final version.
It is hoped that the Three Year Action Agenda will help launch a new phase in our journey towards a New India.
Arvind Panagariya | Vice Chairman | New Delhi | 1 August 2017

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Three Year Action Agenda: An Overview
Part I: Three-Year Revenue And Expenditure
Chapter 2. Context and Strategy
Chapter 3. Growth Outlook and Resource Envelope Forecasts
Chapter 4. Expenditure
Part II: Economic Transformation In Major Sectors
Chapter 5. Agriculture: Doubling Farmers' Incomes
Chapter 6. Trade, Industry and Services: Creating Well-Paid Jobs
Part III: Regional Development
Chapter 7. Urban Development
Chapter 8. Rural Transformation
Chapter 9. Regional Strategies
Part IV: Growth Enablers
Chapter 10. Transport and Connectivity
Chapter 11. Digital Connectivity
Chapter 12. Public Private Partnerships
Chapter 13. Energy
Chapter 14. Science and Technology
Chapter 15. Creating an Innovation Ecosystem
Part V: Government
Chapter 16. Governance
Chapter 17. Taxation Policy and Administration
Chapter 18. Pro-Competition Policies and Regulation
Chapter 19. The Rule of Law
Part VI: Social Sectors
Chapter 20. Education and Skill Development
Chapter 21. Health
Chapter 22. Towards Building a More Inclusive Society
Part VII: Sustainability
Chapter 23. Environment and Forests
Chapter 24. Sustainable Management of Water Resources

Friday 11 August 2017

Call for Applications for ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowships (AIRTF) for ASEAN Researchers

Call for Applications for ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowships (AIRTF) for ASEAN Researchers

Supported by ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF)

Objectives: The AIRTF scheme is a fellowship scheme with the following objectives:

  • To promote mobility of scientists and researchers from the ASEAN Member States to India and provide them opportunity to work at Indian R&D/ academic institutions to upgrade their research skills and expertise.
  • To facilitate exchange of information and contacts between the scientists and researchers of India and ASEAN Countries and create a network for building research collaborations.

As a spin-off, the Fellowship awardees may also have opportunity to get co-supervisors from India for their research projects for Ph.D. or Master's degree on their return to their home countries.

Number of Fellowships: Initially to start with 100 (One Hundred) Fellowships per year shall be awarded to young scientists and researchers from ASEAN Member States to get affiliated with Indian academic and R&D institutions. These Fellowships shall be equally distributed among ASEAN Member Country. Initially, 10 Fellowship shall be allocated for each ASEAN country. However, this number could be re-adjusted in accordance with the number of applicants from respective each ASEAN Member State.

Duration of Fellowship: The duration of the Fellowship will be for a period of up to six months. A minor variation in the duration would be allowed on recommendations of the Indian host Institute/ University depending upon the actual requirement of the research project as mutually agreed between the Fellowship holder and the Indian host institution.

Areas in Which Fellowships Are Available: The area/ topic of research for availing AIRTF must be ASEAN centric and must be aligned with the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI)-2016-2025. A copy of the APASTI is placed at Appendix-I. Fellowship will be offered for working in research topics under any of the following broad disciplines:

  • Science Policy / IPR Management / Technology Transfer & Commercialisation
  • Other multi-disciplinary areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in alignment with APASTI (e.g., Open Access Movement, Scientometrics, Open Science, Open Research Data, Open Innovation, Grassroots Innovation, etc.)

A suggestive list of Indian institutions along with the areas of research offered by them is enclosed as Annexure-I. The Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of the research centres identified to host AIRTFs. For further information/ scientific collaboration please contact the undersigned.

Further Details | Annexure-I: List of Indian Institutions | Annexure-II - Application Form

Dr. Anup Kumar Das 
Centre for Studies in Science Policy 
School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University 
New Delhi - 110067, India
Twitter: @AannuuppK | @IndiaSTS

Wednesday 9 August 2017

CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science | Sao Paolo, Brazil | 4-15 December 2017

CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science
4-15 December 2017
ICTP-SAIFR, Sao Paolo, Brazil

About the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science
What can justly be called the 'Data Revolution' offers many opportunities coupled with significant challenges. High among the latter is the need to develop the necessary data professions and data skills.  Researchers and research institutions worldwide recognise the need to promote data skills and we see short courses, continuing professional development and MOOCs providing training in data science and research data management.

In sum, this is because of the realisation that contemporary research – particularly when addressing the most significant, inter-disciplinary research challenges – cannot effectively be done without a range of skills relating to data.  These skills include the principles and practice of Open Science and research data management and curation, the use of a range of data platforms and infrastructures, large scale analysis, statistics, visualisation and modelling techniques, software development and annotation, etc, etc. The ensemble of these skills, we define as 'Research Data Science', that is the science of research data: how to look after and use the data that is core to your research.

The CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science has developed a short course, summer school, style curriculum that addresses these training requirements.  The course partners Software Carpentry (using the Shell command line and GitHub), Data Carpentry (using R and SQL) and the Digital Curation Centre (research data management and data management plans) and builds on materials developed by these organisations.  Also included in the programme are modules on Open Science, ethics, visualisation, machine learning (recommender systems and artificial neural networks) and research computational infrastructures.

The school has been successfully piloted at ICTP in Trieste in 2016 and 2017.  The vision of the CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science is to develop into an international network which makes it easy for partner organisations and institutions to run the schools in a variety of locations.  The annual event at the ICTP in Trieste will serve as a motor for building the network and building expertise and familiarity with the initiative's mission and objectives.  The core materials are made available for reuse and the co-chairs and Working Group team will provide guidance to assist partners in organising the school, in identifying instructors and helpers etc. The first school to expand this initiative will take place at ICTP-SAIFR (South American Institute of Fundamental Research), Sao Paolo, Brazil in December 2017.

Further information about the CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science.

Short Report on the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, August 2016.

Programme for the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, August 2016.

Materials from the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, August 2016.

Programme for the Second CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, July 2017.