More than 370 scientists gave up jobs in foreign institutions and returned to work in India in the last three years, the government said on Wednesday. Out of these scientists who returned to India under various schemes, 125 have been recruited by different institutions in the country.
The information was shared as a written reply to a question tabled in the Lok Sabha by YS Chowdary, the Minister of State for Science and Technology, DNA reported.
Indian scientists working abroad
Between 2003 to 2013, the number of Indian-origin scientists and engineers in the US rose to 85 per cent, according to a report by the National Science Foundation. The percentage of Indian-origin researchers rose from 2.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent in those 10 years.
About 950,000 scientists and engineers of Indian origin were working in the US in 2013. As per the report, Indians “continue to be the single largest source of such professionals populating the American workforce,” with the number of scientists and engineers growing from 21.6 million to 29 million.
Initiatives to Bring Back Indian Talent
The Indian government has, in the recent years, launched several programmes to bring these scientists back to India. Under the Ramanujan fellowship, 123 scientists came back, while the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship attracted 109 scientists to return.
Chowdary said that the fellowships provides “attractive avenue and opportunities” to Indian researchers working in reputed foreign institutes to come back and work for domestic establishments, IANS reported.
The Ministry also has a faculty scheme, Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), under which young Indian citizens and people of Indian origin with PhD in applied sciences, medicine as well as agriculture are offered research positions based on a contract to boost independent research.
“The Ministry has ensured sufficient funds depending upon the availability of brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India,” Chowdary said.
Tackling the “Brain drain” Issue
The VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty Scheme) initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), a web portal that was launched by Harsh Vadhan, the Minister of Science and Technology, enables Indians scientists and researchers residing abroad to work as adjunct or visiting faculty for a specific period of time in Indian public-funded academic and research institutions.