"Register your organisation and yourselves to get the benefit of the I-STEM portal"
Indian Science, Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) is a dynamic and interactive national portal, which hosts various scientific programs, initiated by office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India. The main objective of having this portal (developed using public fund) is to provide support to needy researchers in different ways and strengthen the R&D ecosystem to fulfil the necessity of people of the country. The supports planned through these programs through this unique portal are designed in such a way that every researcher inculcate the concept of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat in their mind, nature, and behaviour and work with full dedication to optimize the usage of the resources established across the country, using taxpayer’s money i.e. public fund. With these concepts, the portal was launched and dedicated to the nation by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, on Jan 03, 2020. It has now entered in Phase-II, w.e.f. Aug 2021.
The various verticals in this program are:
Links Indian funding agencies, which provide (i) Funding and administrative support to academic institutions and national labs in establishing the R&D infrastructure or procuring equipment for various research domains, (ii) To monitor the usage statistics, its health(up/down/or under repair) and also
(iii) Help in allocating budget to new projects required the similar nature of equipment in the same region (if reported by the custodians, as highly used equipment for academic and industries research purpose) if any. This support the optimal usage of R&D budget for procuring the hi-end equipment, specially the imported one in nature. The data may be directly useful to the Government in formulating the S&T policies/deciding the ranking of the institutions to support the academic organizations in better ways to run the R&D infrastructure 24x7.This support the initiative of GoI “Digital India”.
Provide technical supports to all the academic institutions, national labs and strategic sectors organization to list their R&D infrastructure to the I-STEM portal, as mandated by the various ministries, including the Ministries of Finance, Govt. of India and help them in sharing these equipment available time (apart from PI usage) with internal (within department and Institution) and external users (academic institutions, national labs, start-ups, MSMEs and industries) in transparent ways through the I-STEM portal with its in-built features of online booking and executions of needed slots, payment gateways and auto billing/invoicing of the usage charges as well as providing host institutions the real statistics of the usage as well as unavailability of the equipment/machineries due to the breakdown. The usage data may be directly useful to the host institution to demand the new equipment/funding for its operation and maintenance as well as budget for skilled manpower to run the R&D infrastructure 24x7, if needed, beyond the project duration. The better operation and maintenance also extend the life of the hi-end equipment and generate fund partially for instantiations expenses. This will strengthen the concept “Optimal Usage of R&D Resources”.
Support the researchers of Tier 2&3 academic institutions in conducting their research by providing technical and partial financial assistance (as per the terms and conditions given by the I-STEM) as well as linking them with required resources across the country. This is in line with the I-STEM theme “Linking Researchers and Resources”.
The user of I-STEM has all the Rights to demand the equipment time (if shown available in the booking calendar) in any organizations/institutions. In case, they feel issues in getting the equipment in their region, they may try in other zones/regions too. They also may use opportunities to create grievances through the portal, if necessary. This will set the accountability in the established scientific system. This will strengthen the idea of “Equal Opportunities to All”.
Support the academic institutions by providing technical assistance (as per the terms and conditions given by the I-STEM) in running their R&D equipment and connecting them with the researchers/start-ups/industries/suppliers/service providers through the I-STEM portal. This will minimize the downtime of the precious equipment/tools.
Support the academic institutions in creating skills development modules needed to maintain and also operate the Hi-end and medium range of equipment. This will fulfil the need of skilled manpower/tool engineers required in various scientific laboratories of the country. This is in line with Skill Development and SWAYAM initiatives of the GoI.
Establishing a digital catalogue of the technologies and technology products developed in various academic institutions, national labs and PSEs organizations with the different readiness levels, such as “Prototype”, “Field Test”, “Ready to Commercialize” as well as “Already commercialized” (technology transfer executed with the interested companies). In addition, I-STEM will conduct survey/review of these technologies/technology products listed at the web-portal to take it to the next levels for translating the ideas into innovation and then products. I-STEM also help connecting those institutions needed further support for commercialization.
Support in development of the Indigenous R&D equipment, technical supplies and run the program “Waste to Wealth” (create wealth and knowledge using written-off equipment in various institutions) at State and District Head Qtr levels. In addition, I-STEM has planned to support Industries and Start-up in promoting indigenously manufactured/developed equipment/devices and get it reviewed its performance/results obtained to standardize the same with available imported equipment in various labs. This will strengthen the initiative “Local to Vocal”
The library of scientific standards established by the I-STEM will also support the start-ups, industries as well as academic researchers for standardizing the results or to realize the errors in results/measurements. It will help to do further corrections in patterns of experiments as well as technical parameters.
Making a chain of support from institutions, such as, Polytechnic, ITI, etc. imparting knowledge in technical fields to the institutions (Undergraduate/Graduate/Post Graduate courses in UGC and AICTE affiliated institutions) conducting education and learning in Science, Engineering and Technology as well as to those who are conducting R&D (National labs/Premier Institutions such as IITs, IISERS/Medical Institutions and NITs, etc.) for the country and postulating their services towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. The idea will take towards establishing the better collaboration among the institutions.
Linking the academic institutions with the established S&T Clusters (City Knowledge and Innovation Clusters) an initiative of Office of the PSA, Govt. of India in various cities.
Maintain the I-STEM portal and cloud servers to run the applications hosted at the National Informatics Centre, Delhi.
I-STEM helps the academic researchers by providing the platform with available software, such as, “COMSOL” to do the class kit learning, use for theoretical modeling etc. Many more will be added to the I-STEM portal in future, if service providers agree for it.
It also maintains the panel of experts of different domain to help the needy researchers to get the support in their research in confidential manners.
The portal also lists the vacancies if provided by the academic institutions and the available skilled manpower so that needy institution may fill those vacancies easily and the skilled manpower may get the right job opportunities.
It also allows the academic institutions to advertise their webinars/conferences/meeting/experiments through this portal and also may use the online meeting platform such as “WebEx” to conduct these meetings in organized manners.
It has always been the basic tenet of the Government of India, in generously funding R&D efforts at academic institutions over the years, that facilities established through such support be made available to those needing them and qualified to make use of them for their own research work.