Monday, November 22, 2010

India hunts among PIOs, NRIs to fill faculty posts

A weak Western economy has raised the hopes of top Indian institutions scouting to fill faculty positions. Even as the setting up of a government fund to attract academic superstars from abroad is in limbo, Indian embassies and high commissions have been roped in to sell the dream of a classroom called India, to young Ph.D. fellows.

Interestingly, the embassies have also obliged and set up video conferencing facilities for heads of Indian institutes to connect with Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) interested in moving back to teach. India, which is constantly paralleled to China, has probably not been able to empty out Ivy League institutes of their Nobel laureates and top-notch professors, but is finally seeing some success in persuading fresh Ph.D. graduates to return home.

Probably hence, the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) have designed bright advertisements and sent them to Indian embassies and high commissions in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Austria and Japan. Come back, they say, back to where you belong.

Tech schools, which have been perpetually plagued by faculty shortage, are receiving a flood of applications. "There is currently an overflow of applicants wanting to teach in our institutes, as employment opportunities for Ph.D. fellows in the U.S. and Europe are not very bright," said IIT-Delhi Director Surendra Prasad.

In fact, IIT-Delhi has been conducting interviews with prospective candidates on Skype, and has been able to draw some bright Indians back home. None of the eight new IITs set up in 2008 and 2009 have been able to fill their sanctioned faculty posts.

Source: The Times of India, November 22, 2010
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