Brain drain to brain gain: Prakash Javadekar praises PM’s fellowship scheme


New Delhi: The Prime Minister Research Fellowship scheme for 1,000 B.Tech students for pursuing PhD courses at IITs and IISc will help convert brain drain into brain gain, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the scheme at a cost of Rs 1,650 crore for a period of seven years, beginning in 2018-19. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the scheme in his budget speech in Parliament on February 1.
“The scheme will go a long way in tapping the talent pool of the country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains,” Javadekar told reporters at a press conference in the national capital.
“Research under the scheme will address our national priorities at the one hand and shortage of quality faculty in premier educational institutions of the country on the other. It will help convert brain drain into brain gain,” he said.
Under the scheme, students who have completed or are in final year of B. Tech or integrated M. Tech or M. Sc in science and technology streams at IISc, IITs, NITs, IISERs, IIITs will be offered direct admissions in PhD programmes in IITs and IISc.
Students, who would fulfill the eligibility criteria and get shortlisted, would be offered a fellowship of Rs 70,000 a month during the first two years, Rs 75,000 per month during the third year and Rs 80,000 per month during the fourth and the fifth year, it added.
A research grant of Rs two lakh each will also be provided to the fellows for a period of five years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers at international conferences and seminars.
The minister also talked briefly on “Pareeksha Pe Charcha”, the Prime Minister’s interaction with students at Talkatora Stadium scheduled for February 16.
About 2,000 school and college students including teachers and principals will participate in the programme.