Research funders from around the world agreed on the need for interdisciplinary and women participation in the field of research in a press conference held on May 27 at New Delhi. The role of interdisciplinary in research has been identified as a vital factor in scientific research and breakthroughs. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), under the Ministry of Science & Technology of the Government of India and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) jointly hosted the Annual Meeting of Global Research Council (GRC).
Funding agencies, policy makers, scientists and intellectuals tackled the question of interdisciplinary and situated it in the Indian context to which Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of the Department for Science and Technology, said that challenges are truly global: what concerns India concerns the world. The GRC discusses policy, vision and directions for research funding and not the details of the technology in science. GRC does not fund research projects per-se directly but does consist of national research funders. He also noted that through sharing practice and experience we can become more efficient, and not make the same mistakes and adopt approaches that work well (Press Information Bureau).
The press conference was attended by Dr Yuichiro Anzai, President of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Professor Rick Rylance, Former Chair of RCUK, Dr. Gisella Orjeda, President of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONCYTEC), Dr Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and Shri Y.S. Chowdary, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences among others.
Dr Vardhan, congratulated the GRC in identifying two very apt themes for the deliberations in the meeting. He emphasized that India recognises the need to forge collaborations with other countries to address global challenges facing the mankind, and the forum, consisting of over 60 Heads of Councils, is an appropriate body to discuss various issues facing the global funding agencies. Shri Chowdary showed confidence in GRC as a platform for research funding agencies in the world to deliberate on important issues and that the meeting has come up with recommendations and action plans for the benefit of all (Press Information Bureau).
The conference put forth the necessity to create research opportunities with an interdisciplinary approach. It will allow and encourage people from different backgrounds to pursue scientific and academic careers, bringing excellence in research.