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Gifted Scientists to be Exempted from Military Service

Posted July. 30, 2004 21:47,   


Winners from the International Science Olympiads will be exempted from mandatory military service. In addition, 10 universities will be developed into world-class research-oriented institutions.

The government opened a meeting to discuss national tasks at Cheong Wa Dae with President Roh Moo-hyun presiding on July 30, and confirmed its approach in building the National Innovation System (NIS), which is comprised of 30 projects covering five segments.

NIS is a network that links the public and private sectors in order to enhance national competitiveness by industrializing the accomplishments from the science and technology sectors.

Similar to the benefits provided to the people with outstanding talents in arts and physical activities, this plan will relieve International Science Olympiads winners from military duties in order to nurture bright talents in science and engineering.

Along with it, the Military Service Law will be revised in the latter half of this year to reduce the time served at private research institutes, which will substitute military service for people with masters or doctorate degree in science and engineering field, from four years down to three years.

Government aid to universities will also be increased to have 10 research-oriented universities be ranked within the top 100 universities worldwide by the year 2012.

At these research-oriented universities, the size of undergraduate schools will reduce while the maximum number of graduate students will increase. Also, the working environment for post-doctorate researchers, researching professors, and students in masters or doctorate courses will undergo significant improvement.

In regard to the next-generation growth engine, 49 product lines and 151 technologies that can be commercialized within the next five years will receive concentrated support in order to secure over 200 market-dominating products by 2012.

Evaluation Specialist Institutes will be built to reinforce this measure, and the ratio of technology evaluation guarantee loans against other types of loans provided by the Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund will be expanded from 7.5 percent of last year to 50 percent by 2007.

Ki-Jeong Ko koh@donga.com