NRIs showing keen interest to join DRDO labs

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Bangalore, Nov 14 (UNI) Non-Resident Indian scientists are showing keen interest to join the labs of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), with the number expected to cross 50 next year.

Disclosing this to newspersons here today, Dr K V Raghavan, Chairman of Recruitment and Assessment Centre of DRDO, said 25 NRI scientists had joined the organisation this year and the number was expected to double next year.

''Challenging assignments and keenness to return to India'' are driving these scientists to take up positions with the DRDO at middle and higher levels, he said, adding that aeronautical, material sciences and life sciences streams attract these NRIs.

DRDO had been attracting Indian scientists from abroad for the last five to six years.

Dr Raghavan said DRDO scientists were in for a good time from next year once the revision of salaries was announced by the Pay Commission in early 2008. DRDO had recommended to the Commission to enhance the salaries by atleast five times. Besides, it had also recommended provision of performance linked incentives to scientists. The increase in the wages might not make a significant dent in the DRDO budget of over Rs 5,000 crore, he added.

He said the attrition level of the 7,500-odd scientists in 50 DRDO labs across the country was a mere 4.7 per cent. Nearly 55 per cent of these scientists were youngsters and the average age of a DRDO scientist currently was 38.

Dr Raghavan said various innovative schemes and plans have been put in place to enable scientists carry out their tasks. Youth joining DRDO were looking for challenging assignments. For the 300 posts advertised last year, nearly 30,000 applications were received and the demand for joining DRDO labs was not diminishing in the country. Nearly 30 per cent of those who join DRDO labs were from IITs and other institutes of higher learning in the country.

Besides providing six months sabbatical, the DRDO, which had been declared a deemed university, had also offered 80 PhD posts for its scientists and 20 had applied last year, he added.


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