India has been the dialogue partner for ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) since 1992. In 2012, on the occasion of 20th anniversary as dialogue partner, India-ASEAN celebrated commemorative Summit and declared enhancement of its relations to strategic level.

India S&T Collaboration started formally in 1996 with establishment of ASEAN India S&T working Group (AIWGST). Initially, the collaborative ASEAN-India S&T activities were supported through ASEAN India Fund (AIF). In 2008, Government of India established a dedicated fund viz ASEAN India S&T Development Fund (AISTDF) to support R&D projects and associated project development activities. The total budget of AISTDF is an equivalent amount of 5 Million USD in INR. This amount of 5 Million USD is jointly shared by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Department of Science & Technology (DST). The Department of Science & Technology is the nodal Department for execution and implementation of ASEAN-India S&T Cooperation program from Indian side.

The Plan of Action of the ASEAN-INDIA PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, PROGRESS AND SHARED PROSPERITY (2016-2020), implements the goals and objectives of the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity on 30 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, and the Vision Statement of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, adopted by the Leaders of ASEAN and India on 20 December 2012 in New Delhi, India. Through the implementation of this Plan of Action, ASEAN and India will work towards supporting the ASEAN Community building and integration process, including the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision, for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly people-oriented, people-centered and rules-based ASEAN, narrowing the development gap and enhancing ASEAN Connectivity. Both sides will also further promote cooperation in addressing common and emerging challenges and enhance coordination in other international forum on issues of common concern to contribute to overall peace, stability and prosperity.

The main objectives of ASEAN-India Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation are based on following principles-

Encourage and promote cooperation in science, technology and innovation, including through joint research activity, and development on cross-sectoral areas such as health, communicable and emerging infectious diseases, environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, agricultural technologies, alternative energy, biodiversity, food processing, advanced materials for development of value-added products, and space technology and applications;

Encourage and promote cooperation in biotechnology including through capacity building and joint research and development for mutual benefit;

Undertake activities and develop program / projects under the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund;

In order to support and facilitate mobility among young talented researchers of ASEAN MS, India and ASEAN instituted the scheme ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowship (AIRTF) Scheme for ASEAN young researchers to work at any of the Indian research/ academic Institution


The AIRTF scheme is a fellowship scheme with the following objectives:

To promote mobility of scientists and researchers from the ASEAN Member States to India and provide them opportunity to work at Indian R&D/ academic institutions to upgrade their research skills and expertise.

To facilitate exchange of information and contacts between the scientists and researchers of India and ASEAN Countries and create a network for building research collaborations.

As a spin-off, the Fellowship awardees may also have opportunity to get co-supervisors from India for their research projects for Ph.D. or Masters degree on their return to their home countries.

Number of Fellowships:

Initially to start with 100 (One Hundred) Fellowships per year shall be awarded to young scientists and researchers from ASEAN Member States to get affiliated with Indian academic and R&D institutions. These Fellowships shall be equally distributed among ASEAN Member Country. Initially, 10 Fellowship shall be allocated for each ASEAN country. However, this number could be re-adjusted in accordance with the number of applicants from respective each ASEAN MS.

Duration of Fellowships:

The duration of the Fellowship will be for a period of up to six months. A minor variation in the duration would be allowed on recommendations of the Indian host Institute/ University depending upon the actual requirement of the research project as mutually agreed between the Fellowship holder and the Indian host institution.

For more details & Eligibility, Terms and Conditions please refer the Website : ASEAN-INDIA RESEARCH TRAINING FELLOWSHIP