Vaibhav Fellowship for the Indian Diaspora abroad
In what is considered to be a heartening move, the Union government led by prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled a fellowship to bring Indian-origin researchers to higher educational institutions in the country for a maximum period of two months per year.
The fellowship offers NRI researchers an opportunity to work for a minimum of one month to a maximum of two months a year with a research institution or an academic institution in India. The duration of the fellowship is three years with the government offering the researchers an amount of up to Rs 37 lakh for the entire period.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh launched VAIBHAV Fellowship scheme for the Indian Diaspora abroad on National Science Day (February 28).
Speaking at the occasion, the minister said that the Vaibhav Fellowship aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world through mobility of faculty/researcher from overseas institutions to India.
Singh added that the best of Diaspora minds will collaborate with domestic minds to deliver world class projects and products.
“The applicant should be Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and she or he must have obtained Ph.D/M.D/M.S degree from a recognized University,” he said.
The minister added that the applicant must be a researcher engaged in an overseas academic / research / industrial organization with a proven track record of research and development and plan to work for a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 2 months a year in a research institution / academic institution in India.
Singh said that since May 2014, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge, there has been a visible change in priorities and shift in goals for the Science and Technology Ministry and other Science Departments like Space, Atomic Energy, and Ministry of Earth Sciences.
“There was no dearth of talent and capabilities, but the vindication came in 2014, both at the policy planning level as well as at the political dispensation,” he added.
The minister reminded that in each of his nine Independence Day addresses as Prime Minister till now, Modi has announced the pathbreaking Scientific Initiatives. “Starting from 15th August, 2014, when the Swachh Bharat Mission was announced to build individual household toilets, thus giving a huge sigh of relief to the rural poor, especially the young girls and women in terms of health and hygiene.”
Singh added that the other historic announcement ‘Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’ was made by PM Modi on Independence Day of 2015, then Digital India, which led to DBT, JAM Trinity and UPI, followed by Gaganyaan Mission, Digital Health, Deep Sea Mission and last year his pitch for Innovation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan’.
“Subsequently, PM Modi spoke of Digital Health Mission and in his two consecutive Independence addresses of 2021 and 2022 the Prime Minister spoke of Deep Sea Mission,” he said.
The minister added that out of 130 countries, we were at number 81 in the Global Innovation Index till 2015, but we have jumped to 40th position in 2022. “Today India is among the top three countries in the world in terms of PhDs and among the top three countries in the world in terms of start-up ecosystem.”
Singh said that there has been a significant rise in the country’s overall performance in terms of a number of publications (globally ranked 3rd now from 6th in 2013 based on National Science Foundation database), patents (globally ranked 9th in terms of resident patent filing) and quality of research publications (globally ranked 9th now from 13th in 2013) during the last 9 years.
“India’s Scientific Prowess will define and determine India’s Future Economy in the Amrit Kaal of next 25 years,” he concluded.