Nurturing the Research and Innovation Ecosystem in the University

Former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) K. Kasturirangan says: “The present inadequacies are clearly evident in the dwindling number of researchers in India. This compares very unfavorably with the other top 10 economies in the world. This has all the attendant impacts on publication, patent applications, and industrial growth involving indigenous technologies. NEP 2020 highlights the critical need to manage research at all levels better. The NRF was born out of the felt need to increase the quantum and scope of quality research across all disciplines. The program is also intended to create a much larger pool of researchers within the country”.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) came into existence as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), which is believed to help nurture a vibrant research ecosystem through adequate funding, mentoring, and careful monitoring.

Science & Technology Resource Centre (STRC), Gondwana University, Gadchiroli strives to adopt an exploration strategy that involves creating a conducive environment that encourages creativity and innovative ideas. Launching the ‘STRC Assistance for Science & Technology Application scheme’ is one such effort to encourage researchers, faculties, and students by providing small grants and a platform to carry out intensive research on subjects in line with STRC’s mandate. STRC’s bamboo-based R&D efforts have not only led to the design of products in the utility craft and lifestyle space but also have the ability to generate design patents for two products. The ‘One year Undergraduate Diploma in Bamboo Entrepreneurship and Design’ is envisaged to create skilled human resources enabling local youths to become rural entrepreneurs.

STRC’s herbal plant initiatives have generated well-documented best practices for sustainable harvesting of 10 commercially important medicinal plants and germination protocols for selected medicinal plants. Our efforts on digital documentation of traditional medicinal knowledge and traditional healing practices have led to the first-of-its-kind booklet featuring local traditional healers and showcasing their plant-based traditional healing practices backed by scientific evidence-based research. Our aim is to generate a validated database leading to the recognition of Traditional Healers. Efforts are still underway to make it more comprehensive and accessible to the scientific community.