It is important to read this article because it discusses the Vaibhav fellowship programme, which is aimed at attracting scientists of Indian origin or ancestry to work in India. This is relevant to the Indian Diaspora topic in the GS 2 syllabus, which covers issues related to the Indian diaspora and their contribution to India's development. Understanding the objectives and potential impact of this fellowship programme will provide insights into the government's efforts to engage with the Indian diaspora and harness their skills and knowledge for India's progress.
The Centre has announced the first set of recipients of a fellowship programme called Vaibhav
Scientists of Indian origin or of Indian ancestry can apply to spend up to three months in a year, for three years, at a host research laboratory in India
The researchers are expected to begin a project or technology start-up, build long-term connections with the institute, collaborate with the host faculty, and bring in new ideas to the field
The programme aims to foster genuine transfer of knowledge, innovation, and work culture
The initiative could lead to new kinds of relationships, such as Indian origin faculty taking on students and supervising degrees
The programme also hopes to encourage non-resident Indian scientists to consider staying on in India.
The Vaibhav scheme is not an original idea and is similar to the DST's VAJRA Faculty Scheme.
The main difference between the two schemes is that Vaibhav is exclusively for the Indian diaspora, while VAJRA can include other nationalities.
VAJRA offers more generous fellowships but is limited to one-year engagements, while Vaibhav pays less but extends to three years.
The DST states that nearly 70 international faculty have participated in VAJRA, but there have been concerns about its effectiveness.
Both the Vaibhav and VAJRA schemes will continue.
Short-term fellowships can help attract foreign faculty and researchers to India and highlight the challenges in the country's scientific research.
The competition for tenured jobs in American and European universities provides an opportunity to bring back or retain skilled scientific manpower of Indian origin.
It remains to be seen if the presumption that scientists of Indian origin will be more likely to stay back, indicated by the ethno-nationalist restriction, will be successful.