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It’s time for brain gain, says Indian scientists in US

narender modi

BOSTON: About 50 young Indian scientists have gathered here to discuss ways to catalyse brain drain to brain gain for India by getting the best of minds back to the country.

“One, there no constraint of money (in India) if you have a good science project. Secondly there are better research opportunities in India and the environment to do scientific research has improved tremendously,” Mallikharjuna Rao Komarneni from Guntur said.

Komarneni came to the US in 2008 to do his PhD at the North Dakota University. Seven years later, Komarneni is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oklahoma and has two patents in his name.

But now he aspires to go back to his home country to do basic research in surface science and heterogeneous catalysis.

Komarneni and other like-minded scientists gathered here over the weekend to attend a three-day Young Investigators Meeting at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

To help them take a decision and tap into this impressive pool, officials from over a dozen India academic institutes, including from IITs, gave presentations and held meetings with these Indian scientists who want to go back to India.

“This is an effort to convert brain drain into brain gain,” Ajikumar Parayil, president & director of Young Investigator Meeting (YIM) in Boston – organiser of the event – told PTI.

Managed and operated by volunteers from Boston, YIM is a non-for-profit organisation founded by MIT/Harvard Indian-origin scientists and entrepreneurs in 2009.

YIM has been pushing for brain gain for the past several years, much before it was picked up by leaders in the political domain, said Parayil, who is a scientist at MIT.

In the six annual meetings like the one being conducted at MIT over the weekend, YIM has so far been instrumental in more than 90 young Indian scientists going back to India.

“The trend is picking up and it is quite fast,” said Dr Shahid Jameel, CEO of India-British joint venture Welcome Trust DBT India Alliance.

“I see more and more Indian scientists going back to India,” he said and attributed this primarily to the tremendous improvement in environment of scientific research in India and substantial reduction on funding for basic science in the US.

“Today India is a land of opportunity. Come back to your country. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is offering a better scientific research now. India is the future,” Professor Gurinder Singh from the Amity University told the young researchers in his presentation.

During the presentations, scientists asked questions about career opportunities, status of grant for scientific research and bureaucracy.
(PTI)