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No Brain-Drain of Scientists; Many Want to Return: Government in Lok Sabha

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Rejecting concerns about brain-drain and growing attrition of scientists from research institutions in the country, government on Wednesday informed Lok Sabha that hundreds of them working abroad want to come back.

Asserting that the government is making efforts to encourage scientists, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said the grants for research institutions and laboratories have been increased in the recent years.

During Question Hour, he said that more than 600 scientists working abroad had applied for various fellowships in the country and over 400 were selected.

Asked whether attrition rate of scientists from research institutions/laboratories was quite high, Mr Vardhan replied in the negative and said such an apprehension was not based on facts.

Stressing that the attrition rate was less than two per cent, the Minister said those who left had some personal or family reasons, among others.

However, he conceded that “remuneration, perks and other facilities provided to scientists working in India are not comparable with those working abroad as various conditions that govern the compensation packages are not identical.”

“The Flexible Complementing Scheme/Merit-based promotion scheme positioned in scientific departments and the implementation of the VIth Pay Commission pay scale and introduction of Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS) in strategic departments have attracted scientists to remain in the country and hence the institutions are not experiencing any brain drain,” Mr Vardhan said.

For development of infrastructure facilities at laboratories and research institutions, the government was also providing several grants, the Minister said.