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Valuable Scientists Of The Indian Descent To Return To India

With an investment of over Rs 80 crore, the government’s new fellowship programme may allow nearly 75 scientists from the Indian diaspora to return to India over the course of the next three years to work on various science and technology projects. April of this year is when the first group of 22 fellows, who have already been chosen, are anticipated to start working at the institutes.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched the Vaibhav initiative, which has already finished its first call for ideas and started its second. All Indian scientists who have been actively conducting research in reputable institutions overseas for at least five years are being urged to partner with a reputable institution or university, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in India.

They will receive a stipend of Rs 4 lakh ($4,800) per year and be obliged to dedicate 1-2 months per year for a maximum of three years. They are allowed to take a leave of absence to work for a short time in India, but they will need to provide a letter of authorization from their parent institute. The fellowship also pays for their two months of fully furnished local housing when they are away from the parent institute in India, as well as domestic travel to Indian institutes and up to Rs 1 lakh a year for research expenses.

When we issued the first request for ideas last year, we received roughly 302 submissions. Of those, 22 were selected for further consideration and will shortly receive award letters. Hopefully, after April, we can anticipate them joining their respective institutes,” says Department of Science and Technology (DST) official Dr. Charu Agarwal.

Additionally, the ministry would fund the fellow’s research at the institute for a maximum of Rs 5 lakh annually for three years. Even though they can only work for just under a year, the institute must finish the project in three years and communicate with the fellows during the remaining months of the year via online sessions.

AI and Machine Learning are top priorities.
Based on a study proposal that will be submitted by the host institute they plan to work with, the scientists are chosen. Additionally, all of the money would be released to the institute, which would then give it to the fellow. While any fields falling under the umbrella of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) are eligible for the fellowship, the fields with the greatest interest include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science.

Additionally, certain sectors are being given priority in accordance with the government’s scientific aims. The National Quantum Mission, the National Supercomputing Mission, and the Deep Ocean Mission are just a few of the scientific missions that the government has recently launched. The goal is to get the Indian diaspora involved in related projects that will eventually strengthen these missions and develop the requisite human resources in the long run.

Based on their study suggestions, the ministry intends to identify up to 75 experts from other nations, which will help Indian researchers. About 302 ideas were received in response to the first call last year; 22 of them were chosen to move further in 18 different verticals. The applications from this January’s second call will be examined after March 15.

Scientists have applied during the first call from a number of nations, including the US, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the UK, the officials said. Nonetheless, scientists from the US and Canada who are eager to collaborate with regional institutes tend to submit the most applications.

An apex committee shortlists the suggestions after they are reviewed by an Expert Review Committee made up of representatives from several ministries, including earth sciences, new and renewable energy, health, electronics, and information technology. All persons of Indian origin (POIs), non-resident Indians (NRIs), and Indian citizens working overseas (OCIs) are eligible for the fellowship.

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