As part of an exercise to promote ‘brain gain’ as against brain drain, the Ministry of Science and Technology is all set to launch a new scheme next month to get distinguished scientists from abroad to work in India.
Called ‘Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty Scheme’, it will aim at bringing the best global minds to India with a view to enhance global ranking of Indian institutions. The area of research to be undertaken by visiting faculty members under the scheme would have to be at the cutting edge of science and technology and also be of relevance to India.
Announcing this on Tuesday, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said foreign faculty members selected under the scheme would reside in India up to three months in a year and would be provided a lump sum amount of US dollar 15,000 in the first month of residence and US 10,000 per month after that.
They would have to be physically available for one to three months in Indian institutions and maintain an adjunct faculty/scientist position round the year. They will have to keep the collaborative laboratory and co-guided Ph.D students in India for the whole term, providing round the year mentoring and support to the students and other researchers. At any given point of time, 1,000 adjunct/ visiting faculty positions would be made available under the scheme.
“It is true that scientists from abroad have been coming from abroad to work in India earlier too. However, they are showing greater interest in the last two to three years in the wake of various measures being taken by our Government to make doing science easier,” the minister said.
In order to bring greater transparency, ease of access to information and quick processing, the Ministry has been working to bring all extramural research and development projects under the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) under online platform, beginning from the submission to peer reviews to decision making. The new VAJRA scheme would, therefore, also be operated online. It will be launched next month.