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Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) UPSC NOTE


  • In 2023, both Houses of Parliament passed the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) Bill, marking a historic start to an initiative to seed, grow, and facilitate research in India, especially in India’s universities and colleges.

  • Recently, it announced a 15-member Governing Board and a 16-member Executive Council, which lack representation from organisations the ANRF envisioned aiding and facilitating.

  • More than 95% of students attend State universities and colleges in India, the board and the executive council do not have any members from Central or State universities or colleges


  • The board and the council need representatives who understand the bottlenecks in the current system, especially in the university system, and know how to get things done on the ground rather than being in an advisory role

  • Most importantly, the ANRF needs to avoid the confusion that can arise from multiple committees. 

  • Therefore, creating a single committee to formulate and implement strategies on the ground is crucial. 

  • This emphasis on ground-level knowledge and experience among the committee members should reassure the research community and stakeholders that the ANRF’s decision-making process will be informed, competent, and timely.

  • The lack of adequate industry representation and diversity is one of the most glaring omissions from the current board and council, especially when the ANRF plans to raise more than 70% of its funding from non-government sources and industry.

Funding Challenges

  • In addition to increasing the research and development budget to 4% of GDP, a significant overhaul of the current funding system is required to boost research and to make innovation coming out of Indian organisations globally competitive. 

  • To achieve this, the ANRF must: 

    • be adequately staffed

    • implement a robust grant management system

    • have an internal standard peer-review system with an incentive for reviewers; 

  • ensure timely disbursal of research grants and student fellowships with a quick turn-around time (less than six months) between application and fund disbursal;

  •  have a system free from bureaucratic hurdles both at the funding body and at grantee institutions; 

  • provide flexibility of spending money without following the government’s stringent general financial rules (GFR), and permit purchases without going through the Government e-marketplace (GeM) portal.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) UPSC NOTE
Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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