NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India is set to welcome back nearly 75 Indian diaspora scientists over the next three years through the new fellowship scheme named Vaibhav. With an allocated budget of Rs. 80 crore, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is spearheading this initiative. The first batch of 22 fellows, primarily specializing in AI and Machine Learning and hailing from institutions in the US and Canada, are expected to commence their work in Indian institutes this April.

Dr. Charu Agarwal from the DST expressed, “We have received about 302 proposals when we made the first call last year, out of which 22 proposals have been shortlisted, and would be given the award letters soon. We can expect them to join their respective institutes after April.”

Under the Vaibhav scheme, these researchers will spend 1-2 months annually for a maximum of three years in India. They will receive a grant of Rs. 4 lakh per year along with coverage for international travel, accommodation, and research expenditure. Additionally, the institute supporting the fellow will receive financial aid of up to Rs. 5 lakh per year for three years to facilitate the research work.

Dr. Agarwal highlighted the mutual benefits of this scheme, stating, “It is a good opportunity for our scientists working abroad to collaborate with their local counterparts on projects which can be of tremendous value to both. The Indian diaspora has access to new innovations and futuristic technology that they can share with the students here, and at the same time, get an opportunity to build their network and collaborate on research publications.”

The fellowship is open to Non-resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (POIs), and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) currently employed abroad. Proposals undergo rigorous scrutiny by an Expert Review Committee with representation from various ministries.

With a focus on scientific missions like the National Quantum Mission and National Supercomputing Mission, the Vaibhav scheme aims to accelerate India’s participation in cutting-edge research areas. By attracting top global talent, particularly in AI and Machine Learning, India aims to bolster its technological landscape and reverse the brain drain it has experienced for decades.

This initiative is not just about bringing back talent; it’s about fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration that can propel India’s growth story in the 21st century.