The Ministry of Science and Technology implements a number of schemes to attract foreign scientists and academicians to come and work in India, in order to strengthen the country’s research and development (R&D) ecosystems.
As per the ministry officials, over 250 foreign scientists filed applications under VAJRA Faculty scheme to share their expertise with academic and research institutions in India. And more than 350 Indian scientists quit their jobs in foreign institutions to return to India under other government schemes.
In response to a question asked in the Lok Sabha, the Minister of State Y S Chowdhary informed that 373 scientists had returned to India in the past three years of whom 125 had joined different institutions in the country.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) offers Ramanujan Fellowship and Ramalingaswami re-entry Fellowship respectively. Through fellowships, the government encourages Indian researchers of high caliber, who are residing in foreign nations, to work in Indian universities or institutes of their respective interest and domain.
The fellows receive a stipend of Rs 85,000 per month, in addition to research grants of Rs 7-10 lakhs per year. Between 2014-16, 123 scientists availed the Ramanujan Fellowship of whom 52 joined different institutions in the country.
During the same period, 109 scientists availed the Ramalingaswami re-entry fellowship whom 55 got absorbed in the biotechnology sector.
Besides Ramanujan fellowship, the DST also runs Inspire faculty scheme to support young scientists of Indian-origin in carrying out their independent research in Indian Institutions. In the past three years, 141 researchers returned India to become a part of this scheme of whom 18 joined the various institutions.
In addition, the Centre launched VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) faculty scheme in May this year. The scheme aims to bring 50-75 overseas scientists and academicians every year to work as visiting faculty in public-funded institutions for the period of at least one month.
The Ministry officials have informed that “nearly 260 scientists” from countries like USA, Russia, France, UK, Italy have applied under the scheme. The officials would shortlist 70 of them who shall begin their work by December.
The VAJRA faculty is provided $15,000 in the first month and $10,000 in subsequent months. If you know researchers or scientists residing abroad who could be VAJRA faculty, ask them to submit applications at www.serbonline.in For more details, visit www.vajra-India.in
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