Government is taking some positive steps in order to stem the brain drain phenomenon. It has decided to fund pure science scholars, who have completed their PhDs, to enable them to continue with their post-doctoral research in India.
The scholars would get Rs. 50,000 per month for a period of three years and along with that would also be given a basic grant of Rs 7 lakh per year to do their research. This was revealed by Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Space and Technology.
The National Post Doctoral Fellowship was launched a month ago and would be funding 1000 scholars this year. Applications are also invited for the same.
In the words of Sharma,” We have found that the scholars are more vulnerable to go abroad after their PhD degree because this is the time they don't get full-time employment since many institutes ask for a post-doctoral degree. There are many universities and institutes abroad that offer the PhDs graduates with post-doctoral opportunities. This is why we have embarked upon this scheme."
He further stated, “Once they get a post-doctoral 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."
However the Ministry of Science and Technology at present does not have any data as to how many scholars have left India and are working abroad.
A senior ministry official stated, "There are two reasons behind it. It is difficult to track the students who leave India for studies at different levels (say, under-graduate, graduate and post-graduate). More importantly, there is also no tracking of students coming back. Secondly, neither the Ministry of Home Affairs or the Ministry of External Affairs have maintained data related to this,"
According to Sharma in order to get the fellowship the scholar would have to submit a research proposal and also it is mandatory that the university/institute, where the scholar wants to do the research, accept the proposal.