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Doctorates in hand, only 5.2% of Indians return from US

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 25, 2012
First Published: 00:18 IST(25/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:41 IST(25/10/2012)

Only 5.2% of Indians who go to the US to earn doctorate degrees return home, a study on the mobility patterns of PhD graduates in science, engineering and health has revealed.


About 5,000 Indians join US universities every year for doctoral studies in these fields.

The study, by the US National Science Foundation, looked at students who graduated with PhDs between 2001 and 2007, pointing to a continuing brain drain in research that other studies had indicated may have reduced with India’s recent economic growth.

The study report — released in October — said 87.9% of them were residing or employed in the US, 5.6% in Asia and 2.5% in Europe.

“The survey did not collect data on preferred employment location or reasons that influence employment choices or opportunities.

We will need more data to help us better understand the outcome,” Wan-Ying Chang, one of the authors of the report, told HT.

The proportion of foreigners among those awarded US PhDs increased from 17% in 1961-70 to 40% by 2010, the study said.

According to an article in the journal Nature, citing a survey of 17,000 researchers across 16 countries, India sends the largest proportion of its scientists overseas, with 75% going to the US.

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