Despite this rapid economic growth, India still faces a high poverty rate–25% of the population lives below the poverty line–threats of environmental degradation, and serious public health concerns such as HIV/AIDS and avian influenza. India’s national research priorities combine its well-publicized focus on advanced technology–especially information technology–with the need to feed and protect a population in excess of 1 billion, and keep it healthy. But these days, India is moving beyond these core efforts and into the kind of fundamental research that’s often found in Western labs.
Because of the widespread use of English in India’s university system, Indian students and postdocs have been a common sight on campuses in North America and Europe for decades. But only recently have students or research scholars begun making the return trip in significant numbers. For this growing group of research pioneers, Science Careers takes a look at the Indian research environment, discusses opportunities for conducting basic scientific research, and shares the experiences of recently returned science exchangees from India.
, Science magazine’s contributing writer in New Delhi, describes India as the “new knowledge hot spot.” Bagla describes India’s research system, including its major science institutions, trends in funding and support, and opportunities for collaboration with research institutes, universities, and private companies.
London-based science writer tells how a new bilateral initiative between the United Kingdom and India, along with other exchange programs, are creating more opportunities for British researchers. The United Kingdom, Swarup writes, is lagging in its connections to India despite its long historical connections. But it’s determined not to miss out on these emerging opportunities.
Science Careers correspondent relates the experiences of American scientists who recently returned from scientific exchanges in India. Fazekas reports that American researchers faced various challenges in making the journey, but they feel the experience was well worth it, and opportunities for foreign scientists in India are expanding.
Finally, , Science Careers managing editor, has compiled a list of programs to finance one’s research exchange in India, from GrantsNet and other sources.