Nobel Laureate Ramakrishnan says bureaucracy, politics and red tape hampering India

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Chennai, Dec 23 (ANI): Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has said that Indian scientists settled abroad wanted to come back to India, but were held back by the country's red tapism.

A US citizen of Indian origin, Ramakrishnan, along with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for chemistry for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.

Ramakrishnan said India could follow the example of China, which has launched a massive drive to bring back scientists who had migrated to the West.

"China has now launched a major scheme to bring back Chinese scientists from the West to work in China. So I think it is certainly possible but for it to be attractive, you will have to give them a lot of autonomy from the bureaucracy, from the red tape, from local politics things like that so that they can come back and really...what they like to do is they like to do their science. So if you make it attractive enough, so they feel they can continue to do very good science while being in India then many of them might do it," Ramakrishnan told reporters here.

Ramakrishnan cautioned that the government would have to take effective steps to cut bureaucratic delays to reverse the "brain drain."

"I think people will come back. The people who will come back to India will be people who have very strong personal ties to India and want to come back but have not come back because they feel there is too much bureaucracy or they cannot do their work or things like that or they do not have the facilities. So the facilities and bureaucracy problem will only attract people who want to come back in the first place," he said.

The consequences of the "brain drain" are grave as it leaves gaping holes, mainly in the healthcare systems of developing countries where diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria run rampant and children die daily from diarrhoea. (ANI)

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