Saturday, January 19, 2008

Foreign scholars in India

K.S. Jayaraman has a short piece in about the flow of foreign scholars into India -- not just for a brief conference visit, but for longer term stays as post-docs (and students on exchange programs). All his examples are from IISc, so it's not clear how widespread this 'trend' is. The numbers he cites are also small (one Japanese post-doc who is on our Institute's Centenary Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and several French post-docs who are funded by a bilateral program), so it's not clear how important this 'trend' is.

Jayaraman doesn't mention it, but I think the example of Prof. Luoyi Tao who's on the faculty of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT-M, is more important. It's indicative of the our institutions' willingness to hire a foreign national for permanent positions; it's also indicative of the kind of potential this route has for plugging the faculty shortage in our premier institutions.

In any case, what is clear from these examples is that we now have mechanisms -- involving funds from government sources -- that encourage hiring foreign nationals for longish stints, or even for 'permanent' positions. That is always a welcome thing.