First he promised flexible timings to mothers who are science graduate to ensure their return to the work place. Now, the Union Science and Technology (S&T) minister Kapil Sibal is promising jobs and money to science researchers.In what is clearly an attempt to catch up with the fast strides of China, which produces almost 9 lakh R&D professionals and about 40,000 PhDs every year as compared to a mere 1.15 lakh R&D professionals and 4,500 Ph.Ds churned out by India, Sibal has come up with some innovative plans. Sibal is planning to launch an Employment Guarantee Scheme of a different kind: Jobs for students who pursue research in science.
“Assured jobs with good salaries will encourage more and more students to take up research in science,” Sibal said. The ministry plans to offer at least a job of an Assistant Professor to all the Ph.D degree holders in science. The ministry has discussed the matter with the Prime Minister and has sent proposals to the Planning Commission.
“Students are rushing towards commerce since they find it to be better paying. In science it is either engineering or medicine that attracts the youth. Very few students go for research in science,” Sibal said.The ministry plans to increase investment into science and attract talent by providing scholarships, fellowships and a research grant of about Rs5,000 to about 10 lakh students over a period of five years.
“Brilliance breeds brilliance. Hence, about 40,000 children in the age-group of 10-17 who are good in science will get an opportunity to interact with global icons of science including the Nobel Prize winners,” the minister added. India’s growth in science and technology has not been keeping in pace with the rate of developments of research in other countries. Government feels the competitiveness of India, measured in terms of publications in papers of journals covered by the Science Citation Index (SCI), is not proportional to the inherent strength of the country.“A career in science is losing its charms now. Hence, we need to attract talent to study and have a career in science through an efficient supply chain management,” added T Ramasami, secretary S&T ministry.
India’s first ever national report on Science and Technology has revealed that the number of unemployed science-literates has increased significantly. The percentage of unemployed postgraduates with science background was found to be as high as 62.8% and about 22.3 % of science graduates remain unemployed.The report added that among professionals, technical and related jobs, almost 29% of the total employed are educated in science. But despite that many with scientific qualifications are not engaged in science and technology jobs