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?Brain drain now in reverse gear?

INDIA HAS experienced a happy reversal of brain drain in the last five years with as many as 30,000 Indians returning from abroad to work in the country.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 13:11 IST

INDIA HAS experienced a happy reversal of brain drain in the last five years with as many as 30,000 Indians returning from abroad to work in the country.

Informing this, Secretary of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr R A Mashelkar said India was far ahead of target to become one of the largest knowledge-based economies in the world.

As a special drive to further encourage the reversal of brain drain, the Government has decided to institute a number of lucrative fellowships.

The first of them ‘Ramanujam Fellowship’ has already been launched and Dr Satish Ogle, eminent young physicist specialising in nano-technology and working with Maryland University in USA has decided to take up the fellowship and return to join the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune.

The fellowship offers Rs 50,000 per month for the first two years and Rs 60,000 per year for next three years and support for research later. The number of fellowships is unlimited, Dr Mashelkar said.

“It’s a great time to be in India,’’ eminent policy maker and scientist Dr R A Mashelkar remarked while talking to Hindustan Times.

Dr Mashelkar said in keeping with India’s leap forward, the Union Government is going all out to provide fillip to science and technology activities, mainly by increasing Government investment in the sector by 15 per cent.

The Director-General said the budget of the CSIR had gone up by 25-30 per cent during the last three-four years, which goes to show the importance attached to promotion of scientific and industrial research and innovation in the country.

Not only this, the Government has decided to start more Indian Institutes of Science after deciding to open one each at Pune and Kolkata. The Bangalore IISc remains the only premier science institute in country as of now.

As for India’s projection as the fourth biggest economy in the world by 2050, Dr Mashelkar said it was too ‘pessimistic’ as the target could very well be achieved 15 years earlier than that. “It will not be too difficult to have 10 per cent plus growth rate soon from the present eight per cent and that can bring the target nearer,’’ was his prognosis.

He mentioned the reversal of brain drain was slowly making an impact with the country offering better ‘psychic and physical income opportunities’.

During last five years as many as 30,000 Indians have returned to work here and NASSCOM has found out at least 15,000 young personnel from US and Europe have started working in India during this period.

Answering a question on the lack of research and innovation aptitude in the younger generation, particularly with reference to Madhya Pradesh, Dr Mashelkar said this situation was bound to undergo change very soon with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) managing to get almost 93 per cent children in country into primary education.

This would increase the number of youngsters into secondary and tertiary education and natural pressure and parental drive to improve upon the higher education and consequently research and innovation.

He said Madhya Pradesh was doing well using Information Technology for societal transformation and Inter-State competition would force it to take this transformation forward.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 13:11 IST