Terms of Reference (ToR) of ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund (AISTDF)


The AISTDF was set up following an announcement by Honourable Prime Minister of India during 6th ASEAN-India Summit held in Singapore in November 2006. Honourable Prime Minister announced that we have created the ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund with an initial corpus fund of US$1 million. This Fund should be used to encourage collaborative R&D and technology development so that we can harness knowledge for the creation of wealth.

Honourable Prime Minister of India, during 13th India-ASEAN Summit held in Malaysia, in November 2015, stating that science, technology and innovation constitute a vital pillar of our (ASEAN-India) cooperation and support our economic partnership announced enlargement of the AISTDF from the current US$ 1 million to US$ 5 million. Department of Science and Technology (DST) of India and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India shall contribute US$ 2.5 million each towards the fund.


The main objective of AISTDF shall be to use Science & Technology as tool for realisation of ASEAN-India partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity. The activities/ projects under AISTDF shall be ASEAN centered, action-centric and shall be aligned with the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation 2016-2025. The AISTDF shall support the following joint ASEAN-India activities.

  1. Collaborative science, technology and innovation (STI) projects. Technology development and transfer projects;
  2. Workshops/ seminars/ training/ exploratory visits/ short courses in STI/ outreach programmes;
  3. Scientists/ researcher/ faculty exchange programmes for utilisation of research facilities Creation and/or networking of centres of excellence in areas of mutual interest;
  4. Exchange of scientific documentation & information and setting up of enabling instruments such as web portals, digital libraries, technology transfer centres, accreditation system, etc.;
  5. Encouragement of joint research activity between school/ college students. and
  6. Any other S&T related activity as deemed appropriate and approved by Governing Council.

Governing Council (GC):

The AISTDF shall be governed by a Governing Council with composition as indicated below-

  1. Secretary Department of Science Technology-Chairperson
  2. Head (International Multilateral & Regional Cooperation) DST- (to Chair the GC in absence of Chairperson)
  3. Chairperson of ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology or his/her representative.
  4. Representative from ASEAN ML Division, Ministry of External Affairs
  5. Representative from Integrated Finance Division (IFD), DST
  6. Representative from IFD, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
  7. Programme/ Desk Officer (ASEAN) from DST, (Member Secretary)
  8. Representative from S&T Division, ASEAN Secretariat to act as resource person from ASEAN side.

  1. The Governing Council shall meet at-least once a year or as required, back to back with the Meeting of the AIWGST to monitor and evaluate the on-going activities and approve the new activities for support under AISTDF with decisions made on consensus basis.
  2. The procedures including timelines but not limited to technical evaluation and financial appraisal for approval of proposals received by AISTDF Secretariat for consideration of support under AISTDF shall be worked out separately by the Governing Council (GC) of AISTDF.
  3. Any new collaborative program for support under AISTDF shall be first discussed in the AIWGST. Once, recommended by AIWGST, the detailed proposals shall be formulated for further evaluation and endorsement by AIWGST and approval for funding by AISTDF Governing Council.
  4. Up to 90% funds of AISTDF shall be utilised for scientific activities/ project funding/ programme funding, etc. whereas remaining 10% of the AISTDF would be utilised as administrative/ recurring expenses with regard to day to day expenses of the Secretariat of AISTDF. However, these ceiling could be re-adjusted by the Governing Council depending upon the number and type of new proposals.
  5. The Travelling Allowances (TA) /Daily allowances (DA) norms for officials for official meetings shall be governed as per Govt. of India where as the TA/DA, local hospitality etc norms under scientific activities shall be governed as per ASEAN-India Fund (AIF) norms.

Other Sources of Funds

  1. India and ASEAN are encouraged to make additional voluntary contribution(s) in any amount.
  2. The AISTDF shall be open to contributions from other public and private sources. No restriction or conditions shall be imposed by other public and private sources with regard to the use of their contributions.
  3. Income from AISTDF projects, such as royalties, publications, seminar fees, etc.
  4. Interests on investments

Nodal Department/ organisation for managing AISTDF:

The Department of Science & Technology (DST) would be the main nodal department from Indian side to coordinate the AISTDF.

General guidelines of support under AISTDF:

  1. The contribution will be in the form of grant to research institutions/universities and not-for-profit research/academic entities/organisations.
  2. The collaborative R&D project must include participants from India and at-least two ASEAN member states. The collaborative R&D project partners shall agree on the IP rights and the commercialization strategy of the product or process before implementation of project.
  3. Researchers/Scientists/Faculty from:
    • public funded research laboratories;
    • academic institutes/universities (private/public);
    • public funded research hospitals; or
    • other public funded scientific research institutions
    which operate and located in India and ASEAN member states are eligible for support for joint collaborative R&D activities under the Fund.
  4. The participation and involvement of industry in the R&D project will be highly encouraged in order to facilitate technology commercialisation and marketing the products developed out of the R&D project. However, private industry will have to bring in their own funds to support their participation in the R&D projects, and is not eligible to receive any grants through AISTDF for their participation in R&D projects.
  5. The private entities involved in innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation from ASEAN to India or from India to ASEAN could be supported with maximum of 50% of the total eligible project cost with regard to only for technology transfer/ demonstration/ commercialisation projects. A detailed mechanism of such support to private entity shall be worked out by GC of AISTDF.

Accounts & Audit

The accounts of the AISTDF will be audited annually by such a person or persons as may be nominated by the GC of AISTDF/Govt. of India. The nature of audit to be applied and the detailed arrangements to be made in regard to the form of accounts and their maintenance and the presentation of the accounts for audit shall be prescribed by guidelines to be framed by the GC.

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