IITs urge Centre to extend research grants to foreign scholars

New Delhi: The heads of a few IITs have urged the government to extend grants for research to foreign scholars taking up teaching or research jobs at the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Foreign nationals are not eligible for funding for research projects which comes mostly from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), an IIT director said.

Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

"The government wants to extend grant facilities only to Indian-origin candidates (NRIs), and we believe that it is unfair to the others," the director told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

He said some IIT heads had recently approached the HRD ministry, asking it to take the issue up with the DST.

"Keeping foreign nationals out of the purview of the major chunk of funding available to faculty members at IIT also discourages them from taking up jobs here," the director added.

At present, IITs can hire foreign nationals on a five-year contract, which can be renewed. The norms, however, do not permit them to take up permanent positions or to be eligible for any government funding for research projects.

"We know relaxing the five-year criteria is not a feasible idea at present. However, granting them research funding can attract a lot of foreign scholars and our students can benefit from their expertise," the director said.

Once the ministry takes the issue up with the DST, it would be discussed at IIT directors' meeting and ultimately go to the council for approval, the director said.

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 19:53 PM

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