General Principles and Guidelines for Researchers
(Revised w.e.f. 25 March 2010)
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has established, in accordance with the provisions of the NABARD Act, 1981, a Research and Development ( R & D) Fund for providing facilities for training, dissemination of information and promotion of research, undertaking of studies, techno-economic and other surveys in the field of rural banking, agriculture and rural development as well as for providing NABARD Chairs to research institutions. The R&D Fund support is extended, among others, for:
Conducting studies and action-research projects on topics relating to agriculture and rural development and having relevance to the functioning of NABARD
Bringing out Occasional Papers/monographs for wider sharing and dissemination of research findings on subjects related to the operation of the Bank.
Holding Seminars/Conferences/Workshops on relevant topics
While NABARD usually announces topics and solicits proposals for Occasional papers (item b above) through open advertisement on its website and/or other media, sometimes they are commissioned by invitation. The guidelines and rules governing the grant assistance for projects/studies and seminars/conferences are given below.
1. Eligible Organisations
1. Approved research institutions, organisations and other agencies which are engaged in action-oriented, applied research would be eligible
2. Approved institutions with proven calibre as approved by the Management Committee to undertake research studies/projects that have knowledge gaps and are considered relevant for the development and business priorities of NABARD.
2. Eligible Proposals
a) The subject matter of the proposal should pertain to any one or more aspects of the entire spectrum of development of agriculture and other rural activities, including constraints to such development and suggestions for overcoming them.
b) The proposed research must be of an empirical nature having a bearing on problems of agriculture and rural development including those relating to rural industries, rural artisans, services, etc.
c) The proposed research should pertain to technical, socio-economic and managerial aspects
d) The proposed research should be of an original nature in the sense that it does not repeat the work already done or being done by other agencies.
3. Prioritized Areas of Research
The subjects listed are only illustrative and not exhaustive.
a) Understanding macro and micro economic developments in agriculture and rural sector like production, area, yield, input consumption, prices, farm profitability etc.
b) Investment and activities specific to Biotechnology, Minor Irrigation, Farm Mechanisation, Rural Non Farm Sector, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Land development, High-tech agriculture, Organic farming, Plantation & Horticulture, Rural Housing etc.
c) Issues pertaining to short-term production credit including adequacy of scales of finance, accessibility of credit, technology, dissemination, coverage of different segments, gender issues in credit disbursement etc.
d) Assessing the impact of investments and infrastructure development like rural roads, bridges, cold storage, storage godown, etc.
e) Understanding multilateral trade protocols (WTO), Regional Trade Agreements and their implications on domestic commodity production, income and employment generation, efficiency of production etc.
f) Studies on understanding rural credit market, flow of credit, rural indebtedness, build up of overdues, flow of credit between rural and urban areas, innovations in institutional credit including SHGs, credit product innovations etc.
g) Studies on value additions to agriculture with emerging institutional innovations such as Contract farming, Agro-industries.
h) Studying emerging factor markets particularly the land and labour, structural rigidities and inefficiencies therein and their impact on the efficiency of commodity production, technological innovations, marketing and dissemination arrangement, post harvest issues, commodity prices, farm profitability, rural financial markets, rural infrastructure etc.
i) Studies on organizational set-up and Management Systems of Co-operative Banks and Regional Rural Banks and examine their efficiency levels and viability.
j) Studies on the synergies of NABARD, Rural Financial Institutions and NGOs for Business Development.
k) Innovations involving application of biotechnology, organic, farming application of information technology for farm and non farm sector, rural energy etc.
l) Any other subjects/ issues relevant to the operations of NABARD.
4. Eligible Costs of Research for Funding
a) Every proposal seeking assistance from the R & D Fund should include a budget showing the estimated cost of the proposed task.
b) NABARD shall ordinarily reimburse the following expenses.
The recurring costs on account of salaries and allowances, travel, postage, stationery, typing etc. related to the project. Non-recurring costs, if any, on the purchase of laboratory equipment, books, etc. required exclusively for the project.
A share of the overhead costs of the sponsoring institutions towards the use of office premises, furniture, typewriters, calculators etc. in accordance with its rules.
Expenses on computerised analysis of data, if any.
The budget estimate must be reasonable and realistic. The salary levels of the concerned staff must be comparable with those obtaining in universities and other academic bodies.
5. Ineligible Proposals
The following categories of proposals will not be eligible for assistance from the Fund.
a) Proposals involving fundamental research
b) Studies/research falling within the normal functioning or jurisdiction of governments, universities or ICAR and for which assistance is normally available from the State or Central Government or institutions such as ICAR.
c) Proposals involving sizeable capital investment in land, buildings, machinery, tools, appliances, furniture and fixtures, vehicles etc.
d) Research or training which may result in duplication of efforts
e) Projects of which may exceed 3 years for completion
f) Proposals not related to NABARD’s objectives or functions
g) When the research project/study is outsourced by the agencies entirely or partly
6. Ceiling on Number of Proposals
No institution or individual shall ordinarily be sanctioned a fresh project without its successful completion of the previous one. It shall, however, be permissible to break one big project into identifiable phases with separate budgets for each phase, but disbursements for the second or subsequent phase shall depend upon the sponsor successfully completing the previous phase/phases. In case of Universities/Institutes, each Department may be considered as a separate unit entitled for grant assistance under R&D Fund of NABARD.
7. Nature of Grant Support
Assistance from the R & D Fund would be in one or more of the following forms:
b) Loan carrying interest (to be determined by NABARD)
8. Other Terms and Conditions
Eligible institutions availing financial assistance would be required to give an undertaking for proper utilisation of the assistance from NABARD. Where the amount of assistance disbursed by NABARD has not been utilised for the purpose for which it was sanctioned and no satisfactory explanation acceptable to NABARD is forthcoming, NABARD reserves the right to recall the entire amount of grant/loan at once.,
The institutions/organisations seeking assistance from the Fund would be required to execute such Agreements as may be prescribed by NABARD.
Separate accounts showing details of expenditure in respect of each of the approved projects for which the assistance is extended will have to be maintained by the recipients.
The assistance would normally be released by NABARD in suitable instalments. For each instalment of assistance released by NABARD, the recipient would be required to submit periodic expenditure statements and utilisation certificates prescribed by NABARD from time to time.
The recipient shall not publish the reports or results of research without obtaining written permission from NABARD. NABARD shall also have the right to use the reports or results of research for its internal use and for training purpose after acknowledging the source.
Where the results of research or studies assisted by NABARD lead to the sponsors obtaining a patent or to its commercial exploitation in any other form, NABARD shall have a right to demand a share in the gains made by the sponsors.
1. Eligible Purposes
a) Seminars, Conferences, Workshops etc. on themes specifically of current relevance and focusing on specific solutions.
b) Agri-Exhibitions/Kisan Melas, if organized by Agricultural Universities/State Govt.
c) Training cum Demonstration Camps for farmers
d) Cost of journals/ periodicals having relevance for NABARD’s operations.
e) Any other such event having relevance for NABARD’s operations.
2. Ineligible Purposes
a) Programmes organized by Event Managers
b) Seminars of general nature
3. Eligible items of cost for grant assistance
(a) Expenses incurred towards publication of proceedings (in soft or hard copy) of the events viz. Seminars, Conferences, Workshops or similar events would be eligible for grant support. In exceptional cases, cost of videography, preparation of CDs, etc, related to the programme would also be covered for grant support provided it relates to technical subjects/activities and business operations of NABARD.
(b)Sponsorship of Seminars alone or jointly with other institutions may be considered when the theme of the Seminars is very high in the priority of NABARD.
4. Ceiling on Number of Proposals
An agency can obtain grant support for Seminars, Conferences, Workshops, Exhibitions, Kisan Melas, Agri-fests etc. with a ceiling of two events per year subject to due compliance on the grant assistance for the first event.
5. Submission of application
The agency seeking grant assistance for conduct of Seminars / Conferences would be expected to submit the application in prescribed format furnishing required details to the concerned Regional Office of NABARD at least 45 days in advance from the date of the event. Application received after the indicated time of submission or not routed through the RO is liable to be rejected.
6. Utilisation of Grant Assistance
The grant shall be utilized solely for the stated purposes failing which NABARD will have the right to reject the release of grant assistance.
7. Submission of printed copies of publication
The grantee organizations are also required to supply adequate number of copies of the compendium of research papers/proceedings on compact disc (CD) / multimedia/memory stick of the proceedings as decided by the Competent Authority to HO, NABARD and concerned NABARD RO, in addition to the recommendations of the Seminars / Conferences / Workshops, etc. NABARD reserves the right to demand additional copies, if so necessary. The agency would also be expected to send follow-up actions emerging from such events to NABARD.
8. Acknowledgement of NABARD’s Assistance
Financial assistance from NABARD shall be clearly acknowledged in the publication at a prominent place and also through display of banner at the venue of the event as well as through the speeches / addresses made on the occasion or in a manner as prescribed by NABARD from time to time.
9. Period of claim
The claim for the release of the sanctioned amount has to be submitted within a period of six months after conclusion of the event. The claims will not be entertained by NABARD afterwards, unless there are convincing reasons as offered by the agency.
10. Participation by NABARD Officer
Officers from NABARD shall participate in the Seminar on complimentary basis and may be allotted a time slot for presentation / speech on the development initiatives of NABARD. Delegation or any other fees shall not be charged from the officers of NABARD participating in the Conference/ Seminar.
11. Release of Grant Assistance
The grant amount will be released to the Agency on reimbursement basis on submission of the statement of account relating to the event indicating receipts and payments, duly certified by the competent authority as also submitting required number of copies of the compendium of research papers/ proceedings on compact disc (CD) / multimedia/memory stick of the proceedings, etc. to HO and concerned RO and submitting a summary of discussions with action points.