New incentive package for scientists on the cards

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2007, 08:54am hrs
The Union science & technology and earth sciences ministry is coming up with a new incentive package for the scientific community working in government-run universities and research institutes.

The package, which has already been drafted as a law and will be placed before Parliament in the winter session, will bring some changes to the way Indian scientists are remunerated, said Union science and technology minister Kapil Sibal.

"It is politically impossible to pay Rs 50 lakh a year to the scientists. If we satisfy their lot, professionals from other disiplines will follow suite. In any case, it wouldn't put the scientists at par with those working for the best universities in the US and in other western countries," Sibal said. He was addressing the members of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry here Saturday.

Sibal proposes to provide the Indian scientists with incentives like proper housing and decent schools for their children and debureaucratisation of their working environment.

The new incentive package will give the scientists working in Indian government institutions not less than 30% share of the total licence fee or the royalty that the industry would pay for using the Intellectual properties developed by them. Currently, there is no fixed royalty or licence fee-sharing norm for the scientists.

Under the proposed regulation, the Indian scientists will also be allowed to take sabbatical and work for the industry for five years but on the condition that "they should come back and join the institutes."