International Multilateral Regional Cooperation Division

Research Training Fellowship for Developing Country Scientists (RTF-DCS)


Background:


The RTF-DCS scheme was initially launched in 2007-08 with award of 10 Fellowship per year. The numbers of Awardees were enhanced to 20 and 50 per year during 2nd Phase of RTF-DCS scheme. The scheme has successfully implemented during last 10 years with 185 selected scientists having completed their research work in the respective host institutions in India. The trend of applications received and selections made for the RTF-DCS


Fellowships in these five years is shown in the following Table.


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Total No. of Applications received 270 249 215 481 586
No. of Eligible Applications (as per guidelines) 182 151 144 321 466
No. of Countries from which Applications received 40 33 44 41 47
No. of Fellows selected and placed in Indian Institutions 20 20 45 50 50

Some highlights of the RTF-DCS scheme implemented during 2012-17:

  1. 1. Over the years, the RTF-DCS scheme has become extremely popular among the scientists and researchers of the developing countries as may be clearly seen from the above Table.

  2. 2. India is considered a role model by the developing countries for the development and promotion of science and technology. The researchers in the developing countries are always earnestly looking forward to the award of these Fellowships from India, as these fellowships are not only considered as highly prestigious, but joint research done by the Fellow in India also plays a vital role in the Fellow's capacity building as well as helps in advancing the science and technology in their country and has direct economic impact in the areas such as Agriculture.

  3. 3. While a majority of the applications was from the African Continent, there was a significant presence of other global regions too.

  4. 4. Due to the tremendous popularity of the scheme, more and more Indian institutions of eminence including IITs, NITs, IISERs, institutes of National Importance and central universities have readily offered to hosting the selected fellows, who often complement the ongoing researches at these places, and contributing to implement the programme.

  5. 5. RTF-DCS scheme helped the Indian researchers in expanding their horizons to many unexplored areas and catalysed them to identify new areas for bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Some Indian scientists, who had supervised the RTF-DCS Fellows, have been appointed by the Parent Institutions of the Fellows as co-supervisors for their Ph D work in their home countries.

  6. 6. According to the feedback received from the Indian research supervisors for RTF-DCS through a questionnaire response, 83.3% of the respondents agreed that their confidence to be a Ph.D. Mentor for such international researchers had improved, while 87.5% had found better scope for bi-lateral research cooperation as a result of the RTF-DCS scheme. Further, 91.7% felt that after hosting an RTF-DCS Fellow, the scope for betterment in internationalisation of the institute had picked up and 42.7% observed that it helped in achieving some national research project targets or goals.

  7. 7. Majority of Indian supervisors proposed to visit the countries of the RTF-DCS researchers guided by them for a short period of 1-2 weeks which would give them opportunity to establish institution-to-institution collaborative relationship. It is strongly felt that such facilitation from the GOI would greatly reinforce the objectives of India vis-A-vis the developing countries, particularly, those in the African region.

  8. 8. A number of research papers have been published in reputed International Journals by the RTF-DCS Fellows jointly with their respective Indian research guides.

  9. 9. The RTF-DCS scheme is in conformity with India's current foreign policy objectives with regard to South-South cooperation and science diplomacy.

  10. 10. An analysis of the broad subject areas of research proposals reveals that majority (more than 50%) of applications received were in Biological & Medical Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences even though research projects in Chemical Sciences; Earth Sciences; Physical & Mathematical Sciences; Minerals, Materials & Metallurgy; and Engineering Sciences were also proposed. This indicates the increased emphasis and research needs of the developing countries in these areas. On the other hand, India has a huge research base and capabilities in these subjects which could be showcased and offered for capacity building in developing countries. The RTF-DCS scheme has been able to fulfil this opportunity and pave the way for increasing research collaboration between India and other developing countries.


Considering the consistently high demand from the researchers from developing countries and the keen interest shown by the Indian academic and research institutions in implementing this programme, the RTF-DCS scheme is being considered for continuation for another 5 years. Further details of the scheme shall be available soon.


For more Information about RTF-DCS program,please contact Mr.Raj Kumar Sharma or Mrs Ritika Kishore (ritika [dot] kishore [at] ficci [dot] com)


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