Archive by category | Policy

Diaspora scientists gauge India’s pandemic ‘new normal’

A session discussing perspectives of new faculty who have relocated to India saw high participation at the virtual event.

As the global economy took a hit with the coronavirus pandemic, and science job opportunities seemed up in the air, more than 400 diaspora Indian scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs got together in early September 2020 to make sense of what this ‘new normal’ might look like.  Read more

Why mental health discourse must transcend the pandemic

Debanjan Banerjee

Being a psychiatrist, I have been overwhelmed with the explosion of data, discussion and debate on mental health even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. Surprisingly, a virus has suddenly helped peak interest in an aspect of public health that has long been overshadowed in our societies by stigma and neglect.  Read more

Why ‘hike fellowship’ is a recurrent war cry for India’s researchers

Researchers gherao Indian science administrators during a protest to demand hike in fellowships in July 2014.

Following months of agitation by young scientists across India, the Indian government announced a hike in fellowships for research scholars earlier this month (February 2019). The stipends for junior research fellows (JRFs) were raised from a monthly Rs 25,000 to Rs 31,000, and that for senior research fellows (SRFs) from Rs 28,000 to Rs 35,000.  Read more

Speak up if you experience intolerance, racism in your lab

Speak up if you experience intolerance, racism in your lab

Last month, anti-Asian graffiti was painted in residences on the campus of my PhD alma mater, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, and Asian students’ work was vandalized with racist slogans. That same week brought allegations that a leading astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, had used racist language towards trainees, among other bullying. (The astrophysicist has defended her behaviour, and says her comments were distorted and taken out of context; see news story and her explanation to Nature.)  … Read more