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Suresh S

The third year PhD student from Germany says scientists and students, who represent a big chunk of overseas Indians abroad, should be given their due share of recognition.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 21:07 IST

Sachin Hits a ton!...Would Dada figure in Pak tour?... Jayalalithaa files another defamation suit... like all these headlines, we get to know through Internet feeds that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was observed! The event is yet to have a direct impinge on us.

We have so many jayanthis and happenings observed, but most of them are in memory of late leaders. PBD, if I understand, is the only day that is observed for the cause of living generation aiming to be a bridge between people of India and People of Indian Origin living outside the country.

So it is a very good concept and hope it is successful in its mission. Since we have already had 3 PBD celebrations, it's a time to do a post-mortem on them. Some broad conclusions, according to me, are:

1. PBD has been a conference mainly of/for NRI business elites.

2. Scientists/students have largely been untouched in PBDs

3. PBD boasts of successful doctors/IT professionals in US /Canada. Issues like NRIs toiling in Malaysia, middle east were never touched upon or rarely discussed.

I sincerely feel that PBD celebrations should be inclusive! Not only IT experts and business tycoons should be allowed to make podium presentations, but scientists, students who represent a big chunk of overseas Indians abroad should be given their due share of recognition.

Government of India should use this event to lure back scientific talent, students back to India so that India doesn't lose out in the Intellectual Properties world, that's gonna be!

How to engage Scientists and Students in PBDs?

Special Seminar series titled PBD seminars could be held in all the universities /research institutes across the country and the universities could invite budding Post-doctoral scientists, that the university campuses could have brainstorming sessions.

PBD grants/start-up grants could be given for those scientists who want to return to India and persuade their scientific careers -a humble step to reverse the brain drain.

As a part of PBD celebrations, a panel of NRI/PIO Students (PhD/Management/IT) could be selected and they could be asked to give lectures (in their specialised fields) in the high schools, especially in rural areas, across the country.

These lectures could help the rural students to dream big, catch-up latest trends, which could be of use in making their career decisions.

So I feel that there is a long way to go to make PBD pep and spicy, appealing to overseas students/scientists community.

Will someone listen?

(Suresh Swaminathan is a third year PhD student at Heidelberg University, Germany.)

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:27 IST