Finally, the brain drain appears to be reversing. Better research opportunities in India, passion to do something for their native country and family obligations have started to lure back Indian scientists working abroad. Around 500 scientists have come back in the last seven years – and only six have gone back.
Going by the figures maintained by the union science and technology ministry, the majority of the reverse brain drain has happened from the US, Germany and Britain. Recently, scientists have also started coming from South Korea and Japan.
“About 500 scientists have come back from abroad and are working in various institutions across the country. Of these only six have gone back for various reasons,” T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, told IANS.
Credit must also be given to the several schemes run by the Indian government to encourage scientists and engineers of Indian origin from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India, especially those scientists who want to return to India from abroad.
The Ramanujan Fellowship, Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Programme and the Ramalingaswamy Fellowship are among those that provide a platform to scientists willing to return and work in India.
An internal analysis by the ministry of the reasons for the reverse brain drain revealed that tough competition abroad, better research opportunities in India, love of work for the motherland and aiming to contribute to science were some of the major factors that drew Indian scientists to their homeland.
Family obligations was another reason that attracted them back home.
Sheeba Vasu, who was doing her post-doctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said she came back as she always wanted to work in India.—IANS