Nearly 40% of the students qualifying for the CSIR-UGC NET examination have not taken up the fellowship primarily because they prefer to go abroad for higher studies, says a study in the latest issue of the Current Science.
Data pertaining to CSIR- supported Junior Research Fellows (JRFs) indicates that around 41% students who qualified for CSIR-UGC NET - conducted from December 2008 to June 2010 - did not avail the fellowships offered.
The study - 'Are CSIR-UGC NET-qualified Junior Research Fellows going away from science?' - reveals that lack of interest is attributed to awardees' preference to go abroad for higher studies. Employment in academics, R&D institutes and other fellowship offers were some of the other reasons why the students were not availing the fellowship.
But a sizeable percentage of NET-qualified students also took up the fellowship by clearing NET again and only a small percentage of these students opted for a career in non-scientific institutes.
So, the concerns that NET-qualified students are moving away from science are unfounded, the study notes. CSIR director general Dr Samir K Brahmachari said the students were interested in inter-disciplinary research.