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Scientists launch R2R Foundation to promote Indian researchers

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 00:52

Mumbai: A group of scientists and academicians have started the Right to Research (R2R) Foundation to support foreign-educated and trained Indian researchers to help them find suitable jobs, upon their return to the country.

"An alarming number of Indian researchers are returning from overseas, after obtaining their MS, PhDs and post doctorate fellowships. And despite their enriched education and training, many of them do not find worthy jobs or do not get engaged in research," Foundation head Dr Jayant Khandare, told PTI.

"At R2R Foundation, this is termed as `Intelligent Reverse Brain Drain`. Therefore, to engage such researchers, the foundation has been incubated and has started operations near Pune`s Hinjewadi Biotech Park," he said.

Some corporates have shown interest in supporting the Foundation, Khandare said, a fellow of the prestigious `Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellowship` for his research work in Macromolecular Chemistry.
The standard of research training acquired by these scientists is exceptional and is unmatched, he said, adding, "The selection criteria of many domestic academic institutions hold these scientists as `ineligible`, as our peers have their own definitions of excellence."

The Foundation head said hiring of such researchers has been limited in the Indian institutes.
"In recent times, the number of such hirings has been quite limited. India has a dearth of innovation based start-up companies. To obtain government funding for research, there are varied norms and conditions. Therefore, many researchers prefer to return aboard," he said.

"To start with, R2R Foundation has set up dry lab facilities, to engage around 25 researchers. The researchers will be engaged in research thought process across inter-disciplines, and find good avenues in India," he said.

Khandare, who earlier worked with Piramal Life Sciences Limited, is among the researchers called `Humboldtians`, 44 of whom have so far received the Nobel Prize.

The Germany-based Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between top scientists and scholars from within and outside that country.

First Published: Sunday, August 3, 2014 - 11:44
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