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Search on for Kerala’s academic diaspora

Scheme to locate experts for transforming higher education into knowledge economy

The Kerala State Higher Education Council has begun data combing for Keralite scientists, social scientists, technologists, and humanities scholars of universities and research institutions abroad. The endeavour is aimed at building a database for its brain-gain and brain-circulation scheme.

Commissioned by the State Planning Board, the project aims at attracting and integrating the State’s academic diaspora as short-term teachers, part-time collaborators, and co-supervisors in research through the schema of brain-gain and brain circulation.

According to council vice chairman P.M. Rajan Gurukkal, the data search covers medical professionals, digital wizards, science-tech hybrid field experts, and specialists in environment, biodiversity, climate change, and disaster management who have been working in global institutions.

Focus areas

The avenues have been identified in line with the government’s focus on public health, information justice, social security, equitable knowledge economy, and sustainable development, he said.

Prof. Gurukkal stressed on the need to locate experts in such fields that were relevant for the transformation of higher education to a knowledge economy that depended on production, consumption, and exchange of intellectual property. “The scheme seeks to identify experts in high-tech industries dealing with intangible assets and invite them for redesigning the higher education curricula and reorienting the research domain,” he said.

The endeavour is also seen as certain to boost the Erudite Scholar-in-Residence programme that brought Nobel laureates to the universities and colleges in the State.

Faced with the task of culling out the Keralite diaspora academics from among luminaries spread across the world, the council will rely on data obtained from Indian Research Information Network System (IRINS), a web-based research information management service developed by the Information and Library Network Centre. An indirect search through peer contacts of faculty of universities in the State and premier institutions in the country is another route that the council intends to pursue.

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