The Vigyan Pratibha project responds to the nation’s concerns about the acute shortage of high quality science and technology (S & T) specialists available in the country by taking a long term view and focusing on growing talent among students with high potential to contribute to science. Though there have been several programmes in the past to select and promote talented students in science through multiple schemes, there are many sections of students, particularly from socio- economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are unable to benefit from these schemes. Vigyan Pratibha aims to facilitate their entry into a career in science and eventually to contribute a pool of high quality S & T specialists in the country.

The project envisages working with students with diverse and non-elite backgrounds in Classes 8, 9 and 10 to nurture their talent in science and mathematics and to provide them with an initial advantage in competing for admissions to prestigious programmes in S & T in the post-secondary stage. The nurture programme will aim at a high quality and well rounded science and mathematics education that is based on deep understanding, appreciation and a sense of excitement about the subject. Currently, the target schools for the project are the roughly 1500 schools of the Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Sangathan, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) system and the Atomic Energy Central Schools (AECS).

The core of the project would be in the form of Learning Units that will be implemented by school teachers in these schools as a part of science circles for interested students. These units will be closely related to the school curricula, but would expose students to dimensions of science and mathematics beyond the textbooks. Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, a center of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, has been assigned the academic leadership of the program. HBCSE and several collaborating institutions such as Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata would be providing constant academic support to the teachers in KVs, JNVs, and AECSs in implementation of the programme.