Government Initiatives in Steel Sector


SDF Projects

In order to augment R&D initiatives and to step up investment in the steel sector, the Government had decided in 1997-98 to fund up to Rs. 150 crore per year for R&D projects in iron & steel sector, from interest proceeds of Steel Development Fund (SDF). An Empowered Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Secretary, Steel and members from Ministry of Science & Technology, steel producers, research laboratories and academic institutes. Under the Scheme financial assistance from SDF is provided to R&D projects pursued by reputed research laboratories, academic institutions and industries. There is a two tier structure for evaluation of R&D proposals under this scheme. An evaluation group (EG) comprising Ministry of Steel, Department of Science & Technology, Department of Scientific Industrial Research and Defence Research and Development Organization evaluates the R&D proposals and its recommendations are placed before the Empowered Committee for consideration and approval. There are also independent Empowered Board (EB) of experts for each project for review and monitoring the progress.

Under this scheme so far, 91 R&D projects have been approved with a total cost of Rs. 950 crore including SDF contribution of Rs. 536 crore. The R&D projects include basic/ fundamental research as well as applied research leading to improvement in process, waste utilization, development of new value added products, reduction in cost & improvement in energy efficiency. Out of the approved projects, 64 projects have been completed and 9 are in progress. 18 projects have been stopped after mid-course review. Details of projects along with their status are shown in Annexure 1.

Guidelines for submission of Research Proposals for financial support from SDF

R & D proposals are invited from reputed academic institutions/ research laboratories and Indian steel companies for pursuing R & D projects for the benefit of the iron & steel sectot in the country.

Activities Supported
  • Development of innovative or path-breaking technologies for utilization of Indian iron ore fines/ slimes and non-coking coal.
  • To pursue R & D projects to address Climate Change issues in line with other countries.
  • Beneficiation/ up-gradation of low grade iron ore, coal etc. and agglomeration.
  • Development of commercially viable technology for utilization of steel plant and mine wastes including LD/ EAF Slag.
  • Improvement in quality of steel production through induction furnace.
  • Development of indigenous technologies for new processes and improved products viz. Ultra High Strength Steel, High Strength High Formable Steel, CRGO Steel Sheets, emerging coated products etc.
  • Achieving global benchmarks in productivity, quality and raw material consumption.
  • Development of low carbon technology.
  • Development of innovative technology effective recovery of waste heat in different iron & steel making processes.
  • Development of innovative solutions for addressing the challenges faced by the iron & steel industry.

Scope of Support
  • R & D work in Lab Scale/ Bench Scale and scale-up to Pilot Scale/ Demonstration Plants will be supported.
  • In case of Industrial/ Commercial Organizations pursuing R&D projects with Plan Fund, financial assistance of up-to 50% of the total cost is permissible.
  • In case of Academic Institutions & National/ Regional Laboratories, financial assistance up-to 100% is permissible. However, preference will be given to R&D projects with tie-up with user industries.
  • For Pilot/ Demonstration Scale R & D projects, financial contribution from Plan Fund will be limited up-to 50% and the balance to be met by the industrial partner.

  • Proposal can be submitted by a public entity or private entity.
  • Industry / Institutions should have DSIR recognized in-house R & D laboratory.
  • Joint proposals with other laboratories/ Institutions/ Industry are desirable for support.

Center of Excellence

Under this scheme, one Center of Excellence, namely, Steel Technology Centre has already been operationalized at IIT Kharagpur with a financial assistance of Rs. 16.20 crore from SDF. This Center has facilitated students towards research in Iron & Steel sector. Based on this success story, two more Centers have been approves at IIT Bombay & IIT BHU with financial assistance of Rs. 33.06 crore and Rs. 30.98 crore respectively. One more, Center of Excellence has recently been approved at IIT Madras with financial assistance of Rs. 35.55 crores from the Ministry.

Steel Chair Professor & Scholarship Scheme

The Steel Chair Professor and Scholarship Scheme were initiated in 2008-09 in order to partly address the shortage of faculty for teaching/ research in metallurgical engineering. Any academic institute in the country which teaches metallurgical engineering is eligible to apply for the scheme. Presently 13 numbers of Steel Professors have been appointed at various institutes in the country having Metallurgy/ Material Science departments. The scholarship scheme on the other hand has been implemented in 16 institutes to attract bright students of metallurgical engineering in pursuit of their career in Iron & Steel sector. Total grant released towards salary of Chair Professors and scholarship since inception is Rs. 20.21 crores (up to March 2018). The success of the scheme has been established through an independent study carried out by Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad. Presently, the scheme is being revised for implementation for a period of 5 years (2018-19 to 2022-23).


MOS is also supporting R & D projects being pursued under the Impacting Research, Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) Scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). So far, 3 R & D projects with a total cost of Rs. 11.04 crores have been approved, out of which Rs. 5.52 crores is from MOS.

R&D with Govt. Budgetary Support

The Govt. started a new scheme viz. "Promotion of R&D in Iron and Steel Sector", during the 11th Five Year Plan. As per the approval of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) the three broad areas to be pursued under this scheme are:

  • Development of innovative/ path breaking technologies for utilization of iron ore fines and non-coking coal.
  • Beneficiation of raw materials like iron ore, coal etc. and agglomeration.
  • Improvement in quality of steel produced through the induction furnace.

A Project Approval and Monitoring Committee (PAMC) under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Steel) and members comprising Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Director IIT Kharagpur, Director IMMT, Director NML and other members, is the decision making body for approval of R&D projects, monitoring of ongoing projects and for overall direction. Project Review Committees (PRCs) comprising domain experts also monitor the progress and fund utilization of each project.

The aforesaid R&D Scheme has been continued in the 12th Five Year Plan. In 12th FY Plan, two new objectives have been added along with the three aforesaid objectives. The additional objectives are:
  • Development of technology for CRGO Electrical Steel Sheets and other value added innovative steel products.
  • To pursue R&D on any other subject of national importance concerning the iron and steel sector.

Under this scheme, so far 26 R&D projects have been approved with a total cost of Rs. 221 crores with approved financial assistance of Rs. 161 crores from Plan Fund. Details of projects along with the status and outcome up to March 2018 are shown in Annexure 4. So far, 7 projects have been completed where in, processes/ technologies have been developed in laboratory/ Pilot scale for benefit of Iron & Steel sector.

Guidelines for submission of Research Proposal for financial support from Plan Fund

R&D Project Proposals are invited from reputed academic institutions/ research laboratories and Indian steel companies for pursuing R&D projects for the benefit of Iron & Steel Sector in the country.

  • Proposal can be submitted by a public entity or private entity.
  • Industry / Institutions should have DSIR recognized in-house R & D laboratory.
  • Joint proposals with other laboratories/ Institutions/ Industry are desirable for support.

Steel Research & Technology Mission of India

(i)Ministry of Steel constituted a Task Force under the Chairmanship of Dr. Baldev Raj, former Director, IGCAR, for suggesting a blueprint for an institutional mechanism to spearhead the R&D efforts in Iron & Steel Sector in India. The said Task Force, in its report inter-alia recommended setting up of a new institutional mechanism namely, Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) for taking up research projects of national importance.

(ii)The National Steel Policy 2017 has identified SRTMI to pursue high end research as one of the interventions to make the Indian steel industry to be a global leader. The salient features of SRTMI are given below:

  • SRTMI is an umbrella body to coordinate and network between the steel industry, national laboratories and academic institutes to spearhead R&D in the Iron & Steel sector.
  • Subsequently, it has been decided that apart from R&D, SRTMI will also pursue skill development, training and IEC initiatives for the steel sector.
  • SRTMI is an industry driven initiative which has been setup as a registered society wherein Ministry of Steel is a facilitator as one of the members of the society.
  • SRTMI is governed and administered by a Governing Body comprising the steel CEOs, domain experts and a representative of Ministry of Steel.
  • The participating companies shall pay an initial entry fee @ Rs 25/tonne of crude steel produced during 2013-14, or, Rs 5 Cr, whichever is higher, to contribute in the initial corpus for SRTMI.

(iii)CEOs of Major Indian Steel Companies, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Ministry of Steel in the presence of Hon'ble Minister for Steel & Mines on 6th April 2015 for participation and financial contribution in the initiative. SRTMI has been registered on 14th October 2015.

(iv)The Director of SRTMI has been appointed on 1st Jan 2018. Presently, preparation of office space, recruitment of support team, setting up of corpus fund etc are in progress.

Status Of The R&D Projects Pursued With Financial Assistance From SDF. Click To View

Guiding Format For Research Proposal Seeking Financial Support From Steel Development Fund/ Plan Fund
Of Ministry Of Steel. Click To View

Standard Terms Conditions For Research Projects To Be Financed From Steel Development Fund (SDF).Click To View

R&D Projects Undertaken Under The R&D Scheme With Financial Assistance From Government Fund.Click To View