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The Big Picture: VAIBHAV Summit

  • 20 Oct 2020
  • 7 min read

Why in News?

The Vaishvik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit is a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian Researchers and Academicians being organized from 2nd October to 31st October 2020.

  • It will bring Indian origin luminaries in academic institutes and R&D organizations across the world and resident counterparts on a single platform to debate upon collaboration mechanisms to strengthen academic and S&T base in India for global development.
  • Key areas of discussion will include: quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, communications technologies, computational and data sciences and aerospace technologies among others.
  • Organisers: The Summit is a joint effort of various Science & Technology (S&T) and Academic organisations, including Department of S&T, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Objectives of the Summit

  • The goal is to create an ecosystem of knowledge and innovation in the country through global outreach.
  • To leverage the expertise and experience of the Indian scientists overseas.
  • To participate with India's journey of technological developments.
  • Pandemic needs immediate technology such as drug delivery, vaccination. Working out on such solutions in order to help mankind.

Significance of the Summit

  • Over 3000 Academicians & Scientists of Indian Origin and over 10,000 Indian Scientists participating in the Summit.
  • VAIBHAV Summit 2020 celebrates Science and Innovation from India and World.
  • The summit will reflect on the collaboration and cooperation instruments with academia and scientists in India and abroad.
  • To boost the innovation ecosystem in India, VAIBHAV will add a new dimension to Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).
  • The summit seeks active support and ideation from Indian Diaspora for developing skills of Indian aspirants in alignment with the New Educational Policy.
  • With Indian roots, global outlook and experience, accomplished scientists, researchers and academicians of Indian descent, around the world can play a vital part in the "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" initiative.
  • Eighteen verticals have been identified to have engagement in the VAIBHAV Summit. Example- Agriculture, Health, Energy and Transportation.
  • Other Initiatives: Programs like GIAN, VAJRA and SPARC have been previously launched by the government of India to attract global scientists to work with the Indian researchers.

Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN)

  • It is a programme that seeks to invite distinguished academicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, experts from premier institutions from across the world, to teach in the higher educational institutions in India.
  • It aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reforms, and further strengthen India’s scientific and technological capabilities.

VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research)

  • VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty Scheme is a dedicated program exclusively for overseas scientists and academicians with emphasis on Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)/Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to work as adjunct/visiting faculty for a specific period of time in Indian Public funded academic and research institutions.
  • The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology is the implementing agency for the Scheme.

Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the web portal of the Scheme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)”.
  • SPARC aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world from 28 selected nations to jointly solve problems of national and international relevance in the first phase.
  • Under this Scheme, 600 joint research proposals will be awarded for 2 years to facilitate research collaboration between Indian research groups with the best in class faculty and renowned research groups in the leading universities of the world, in areas that are at the cutting edge of science or with direct social relevance to mankind, specifically India.

Role of the Indian Diaspora

  • The Indian diaspora are the excellent ambassadors of India at the world stage.
  • Their efforts will help create an ideal research ecosystem; merging tradition with modernity leads to prosperity.
  • The ‘Vaibhav Summit' is planned with the Indian Diaspora working in the World's top universities and R&D organisations to strengthen the factors enabling the outcome driven research and education.

Areas of Concern

  • Continuous engagement: Arranging a structured platform for continuous engagement of all the stakeholders and converting the knowledge back to wealth is a big challenge.
  • Absence of schemes or scholarships: for sending Indian scholars and scientists to foreign institutions for further studies and researches.
  • Rankings of institutions: No Indian Institution ranking in top 100 colleges can create a challenge in attracting more foreign engagement.

Way Forward

  • Launching programs for Indian scientists and researchers to go to international institutions.
  • Academic community will be benefitted, the collaborations through the summit can be a really good way of changing the international perception of our educational institutions.
  • Shifting towards more innovative ideas, as innovation will lead to economic growth.


While multiple emerging challenges in today’s global ecosystem are in urgent need of attention, ‘Ideation through Virtual Associations’, ‘Complementary Research’ and ‘Collaborative Development’ are emergent phenomena of this decade; collaboration is the new driver of Innovation.

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