The Centre is all set to launch a first-of-its-kind programme next month wherein foreign and NRI scientists can work in the country’s scientific institutions for a period of one to three months. The programme titled ‘Visiting Advanced Joint Research’ (VAJRA) is aimed at encouraging top scientists to work in India and also guide doctorate and post-doctorate students. “The aim of the programme is to expose the students to global research culture. The scientists selected under this programme will be a cut above the rest in their respective fields. “The faculty will be physically available for 1-3 months in the Indian institutions, but maintain an adjunct faculty status round the year,” said Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.
He was speaking at the sidelines of an event organised to publicise the ministry’s achievements since the NDA government came to power in 2014.
Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, who was also present at the event, said thousands of Indian-origin scientists working abroad have come back to India ever since the NDA came to power. The scientists under the VAJRA programme would draw a salary of USD 15,000 in the first month and USD 10,000 each in the remaining months. The number of scientists under the programme has been capped at 1,000. Meanwhile, Sharma said it was for the first time that the government has initiated such a programme at a mass level to attract foreign scientists. The government currently runs a programme under ‘Ramanujan Fellowship’. However, it is aimed at attracting Indian students and doctors working abroad. The period of the fellowship is for five years.