Govt launches VAJRA to attract foreign-based Indian scientists

The Visiting Advanced Joint Research or VAJRA scheme launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is to encourage the Indian origin scientists to connect back with their roots and contribute to the growth of Indian science

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New Delhi: In a much-required initiative aimed at bringing back the lost scientific talent pool to India, the Union Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India has initiated a novel scheme VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research). The scheme by the Faculty Scheme of Science and Engineering Research Board, allows foreign-based scientists to contribute to the Indian growth by working part-time in Indian laboratories and academic institutions.

The foreign faculty members selected under the scheme would reside in India up to three months in a year and would be provided with a lump sum amount of 15,000 dollars in the first month of residence and US 10,000 per month for the second and third month.

The web portal of the scheme with details was launched in New Delhi on 22nd June by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harshvardhan.

With the introduction of the VAJRA scheme, the Ministry plans to invite top foreign scientists, including persons of Indian origin, to spend up to three months in Indian institutions.

“The area of research to be undertaken by visiting faculty members under the scheme would have to be at the cutting edge of science and technology and also be of relevance to India,” said the Minister while adding that “Earlier we had an issue of brain drain but with this issue we will be able to transform it into brain gain.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking at the launch of VAJRA at New Delhi on June 22nd.
Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking at the launch of VAJRA at New Delhi on June 22nd.