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Centres of Excellence

Central Sector Scheme on Centres of Excellence for 2017-2020. The Scheme on Centres of Excellence is a Central Sector Scheme initiated in the year 1983. The Scheme was originally conceived to provide ‘selective support’ to Universities, reputed institutions including NGOs, professional organisations and other scientific and technical institutions to enable them to develop into advanced Centres at the national level in that particular subject area.

  • During the year 201516, with the closure of the Planning Commission and coupled with
    ending of the XlIth Five-Year Plan in 2016-17, it was decided that all Ministries/Departments of GOI,
    could, if required, individually undertake a detailed review and evaluation of physical and financial
    performance of Plan Schemes and decide on their discontinuation/continuation/merger — of
    Schemes. It further decided that a “Sunset Clause” should be introduced for every scheme and to
    make it co-terminus with the Finance Commission (FC) Cycles, the first such one being the
    remaining Fourteenth FC period ending 2020. In view of the above, the MoEF&CC decided to review
    all on-going plan Schemes of the Ministry in order to determine their effectiveness in achieving the
    goals of the Ministry.
  • On the basis of these decisions, the MoEFCC in 2016, set up an Evaluation Committee
    headed by Senior Economic Advisor of the Ministry to review and revamp all the XII Plan Schemes of
    MoEFCC with a view to change, amend and rationalise to bring effective outcomes to meet
    Ministry’s objectives and mandate. In this context, the Scheme on Centres of Excellence was also
    reviewed. The Report of the Evaluation Committee has stated that “the setting up of the CoEs has
    been largely on ways to support and provide a public interface to Ministry’s policies and
    programmes, through education, training, etc. The engagement of CoEs for these tasks may be
    discontinued. While these objectives were relevant when the scheme was started in 1983, the future
    goals of the scheme have to be in line with the pressing needs of the Ministry”. The Committee
    further recommended “The existing CoEs may be discontinued at the XlIth Plan and new Centres to
    get project based funding from 2017-18”, a fresh start to establishing CoEs by calling for fresh
    applications.
  • In view of the recommendations made by Evaluation Committee in its report, with the
    approval of former Secretary (EF&CC), and the then Minister of State for EF&CC (Independettl
    Charge), this Ministry vide letter dated 14.2.2017 had informed all the Centres of Excellence that
    with the end of 121P Plan period i.e. on 31.3 203.7, the present Plan Scheme of COE would be revised
    and all salary grant to .the present centre of excellence would cease by the end of financial year
    ending 31st March 2017.
  • The MOEFCC on the basis of the aforesaid recommendations has also prepared a
    revamped Scheme on “Centres of Excellence” whereby all institutions of excellence in the country
    including all existing Centres of Excellence can apply for financial assistance in project mode under
    relevant thematic areas. The purpose of the revamping was to open the Scheme to all institutions in
    the country with expertise in identified thematic areas to undertake specific projects on specific
    areas of concern and priority and/or urgency of the Ministry to garner and harness excellence and
    expertise available in such institutions in meeting Ministry’s objectives of environmental protection
    and conservation of natural resources. The Centres of Excellence Scheme will fund specific
    projects/research/study/activity,, of priority/concern or urgency in identified thematic areas. The
    important thematic areas are Sustainable Development, Climate change, Pollution, Environmental
    Health, Development of Clean energy/clean technology/process/ Resource Efficiency, Waste
    Management, Biodiversity Conse.rvation, Wildlife Protection, Habitat Conservation and Restoration,
    Landscape Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood, Environmental Governance and Policy & Law,
    Integration of environmental economics in environmental policy and programmes, Environmental
    Impact Assessment, Pollution Control and Abatement, Natural Resource Evaluation and Costing of
    Ecosystem Services.