‘Brain drain’ is almost exclusively blamed on the lack of esteemed job opportunities available in India. Also, another factor contributing to ‘brain drain’ is that students who’ve just completed their studies look for better standard of living which is obviously available in Western nations. But one aspect that’s completely ignored that adds significantly to Indian students leaving the country is the monthly fellowship provided to them by the government.
In a major development, Union higher education secretary Kewal Kumar Sharma announced that as part of the research fellowship scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre will now be providing a monthly fellowship of Rs 70,000 to PhD scholars.
The one condition is that the Centre will provide this to only those researchers who are doing their PhDs in IITs or IISc. Earlier, this fellowship was a paltry Rs 25,000.
“As part of the research fellowship scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we wish the meritorious students who are being forced to leave the country for purely financial reasons stay within the country,”said Union higher education secretary, Kewal Kumar Sharma.
This research fellowship will be given for a period of five years. Another caveat is that the scholarship recipients cannot do any other job, which seems fair considering that the monthly fellowship has been significantly raised so the recipients won’t need to take up another job.
Kewal Kumar Sharma made this announcement at the 67th Foundation Day of IIT Kharagpur at its Kharagpur campus in West Midnapore district. He said, “This will also enable meritorious researchers, keen to further their research but forced to opt for corporate jobs for higher pay, to pursue their goal.”
The Cabinet nod is awaited on this proposal but it seems that it will come soon. This could well be a game-changer in keeping highly qualified and talented researchers within the country and enable them to contribute to nation-building in a bigger manner. It is hopeful that this fellowship will start from the next session.
IIT-KGP director ParthaPratim Chakrabarti had to say: “This is a very good proposal.”