I-Return: Indian Graduate Student Forum at Iowa State University
Rishi Sharma, ISU, Ames, IA
India has been one of the fastest growing countries in the world for the past few decades. Despite significant strides in many areas, India lags a stronghold in the scientific & technological landscape of the world. For example, no Indian university made into Times Higher Education’s top global list of 100 academic institutions in 2018. Attracting human resource that has trained overseas to return and participate in India’s nation-building process (aka ‘reverse the brain-drain’) is an important challenge that impacts India significantly. To contribute towards this cause, we at Iowa State University have taken up an initiative called I-Return, a constructive forum for students who intend to take up a career in science, technology and education ecosystem of India. The major objective of this initiative is to build a platform that provides information about career opportunities in India to prospective US based Indian faculty candidates, entrepreneurs and scientists. In hindsight, it is also an effort to build a strong student community that provides mutual motivation to strengthen one’s aim of returning to India and contributing towards its development. Since its inception in Aug 2017, I-Return has been proactive in organizing faculty talks and conducting graduate student interactions to learn and discuss about academic and other opportunities in India. In the future, we intend to expand our footprint in other US Universities, build tie-ups with various stake holders in India such as Indian government agencies, academic institutions etc. In conclusion, I-Return aims to create a vibrant network that encourages information sharing about opportunities in India, various government programs and most importantly share individual motivations to return to India.
About the presenter…
Rishi Sharma is an Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi alumnus, currently pursuing PhD in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Before joining ISU he had worked in Reliance Industries Limited, Vadodara, India as a GET and also at IIT-Delhi as a research assistant. He is currently engaged with I-Return and has also been actively involved in the Hindu Yuva chapter at ISU from the past 3 years.