NEW DELHI: In an attempt to prevent brain drain, the government has launched a scheme to fund pure-science scholars who have completed their PhDs for pursuing postdoctoral research in India.
According to Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, the scholars would be paid Rs50,000 per month for the period of three years and would also be given a basic grant of Rs7 lakhs per year for conducting research. The national postdoctoral fellowship was launched a month ago and would fund around 1,000 scholars this year. Applications have also been invited, he said.
“We have found that the scholars are more likely to go abroad after their PhD degree because this is the time when they don’t get full-time employment since many institutes ask for a postdoctoral degree. There are many universities and institutes abroad that offer the PhDs graduates post-doctoral opportunities. This is why we have embarked on this scheme,” Sharma said. “Once they get a postdoctoral fellowship in India for three-years, they can continue with their research and get prepared for a job in Indian institutes and universities. Once they bag a job, the chances of their going abroad is less,” he said.
The Ministry of Science and Technology does not have any data of how many research scholars have left India and are currently working abroad.
“It is difficult to track the students who leave India for studies at different levels. More importantly, there is also no tracking of students coming back.
“Neither the Ministry of Home Affairs nor the Ministry of External Affairs has maintained data related to this,” said an official.