No. of Scientists Returning to India Has Risen: Govt

The number of Indian scientists returning to the country to pursue research and work opportunities has increased in the last five years, says the government.


The number of Indian scientists returning to the country to pursue research and work opportunities from different foreign nations showed a significant rise from 243 in the period between 2007 and 2012 to 649 during the 2012-2017 span.

The number of Indian scientists returning home to work in institutes and universities has increased over the last five years, YS Chowdhury, the Minister of State for Science and Technology, informed the Lok Sabha on Dec. 20 in response to a question, PTI reported.

Chowdhury added that the different schemes of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have provided lucrative opportunities for many capable Indian scientists working in different countries to come back and work in Indian universities and institutes.

Some of these schemes are Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme and the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme. The INSPIRE scheme opens up an “Assured Opportunity for Research Career (AORC)” for young researchers in the age group of 27-32 years. “It is expected to augment high quality scientific manpower in scientific and educational institutions. It provides attractive opportunities to young achievers for developing independent scientific profiles and intends helping them emerge as S&T leaders in the long term,” the scheme elaborates.

The Ramanujan Fellowship scheme, on the other hand, is meant for brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India.

“The fellowships are scientist-specific and very selective. The Ramanujan Fellows could work in any of the scientific institutions and universities in the country,” the scheme says, adding that they would be eligible for receiving regular research grants through the extramural funding schemes of various S&T agencies of the Government of India.

In May this year, Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, said that India has reached a stage of brain gain from brain drain.

More than 370 scientists gave up jobs in foreign institutions and returned to work in India in the last three years, the government said in August this year.

About 950,000 scientists and engineers of Indian origin were working in the United States in 2013, according to a report by the National Science Foundation. Indians “continue to be the single largest source of such professionals populating the American workforce,” the report said, adding that with the number of scientists and engineers grew from 21.6 million to 29 million.

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