By Adrien Facélina (eriollsdesigns – Lanthys Icon Set (for KDE)) [LGPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html)] via Wikimedia Commons
In recent years, there’s been an increasing trend of overseas Indians moving back home. The decision to move back might be due to a desire to return to one’s roots or determined by career opportunities. Whatever the reason for migration, India needs scientists who have acquired international experience and knowledge to help boost the country’s scientific innovations. There are various aspects which impact the reverse migration of Indians from across the globe. For example, job opportunities, working conditions, financial issues and prevailing cultural norms.
The Indian government, together with local scientific authorities, is currently trying a number of approaches to increase the influx of overseas scientists. There are several schemes including the DBT-Wellcome Trust, the Ramanujan Fellowship and Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowships offering young achievers an opportunity to take up independent research within the country. India also offers contractual and short-term research positions through various programs such as the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme, the Assured Opportunity for Research Career (AORC) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Science Fellowship (JNSF) for taking up teaching and research assignments. A small number of my colleagues have received these fellowships. India bioscience, a not-for-profit outreach initiative organizes an annual Young Investigator Meeting every year to create awareness about job opportunities in India. More than 50 young investigators have found a career in India through attending this annual meeting.
However, a concerted approach is required to attract and retain the best talent from abroad and India. Although many of India’s prestigious research institutes have world-class facilities, their visibility outside of the country is rather poor. Thus, a sustainable infrastructure for growth and investment is required to generate a more global presence. Along with established research institutions including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), independent research at universities and colleges should be promoted by providing more funding for state-of-the-art research facilities, and by the hiring of world-leading scientists to drive these facilities forward. In my opinion, this will not only motivate young students to consider scientific research as a worthwhile and rewarding career path, but also encourage overseas scientists to call India home once again.
For those seeking to embark on an industrial research position, recruitment is steadily rising. Several multinational companies invest in carrying out research in India because of access to raw materials and skilled labor, as well as the prospect of market growth and the need to be close to potential customers. A number of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies – Abott, Astra Zeneca, Aventis Pharma, Burrough-Wellcome, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck India, Novartis, and Pfizer – are basing their primary research facilities in India, creating a variety of opportunities in research and development, as well as technology transfer. The growth of the Indian pharmaceutical industry has been remarkable.
Over the past few months, I have been looking for industrial job opportunities in India. Looking for a new job is never easy, but with the growth of biomedical research in India, I look forward to finding a new role that complements my skills very soon!