Over 550 Indian biotechnologists have returned to their homeland to pursue careers in research here under the prestigious Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship, the government said on Sunday.

Speaking at the 36th foundation day function of the Department of Biotechnology, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said several more scientists abroad were keen to return to benefit from the research opportunities and careers in the country.

The Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship is a prestigious scheme of the Department of Biotechnology, which was launched in 2006-07 with the aim to bring back the Indian scientists working abroad.

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A senior official said of the 550 scientists who had availed of the fellowship, 300 have been absorbed in science and technology institutes in the country.

Singh said due to the enormous support received both from the government and the private sector, the field of biotechnology has seen rapid growth and India is now being rated among the top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world.

The minister also released the “New Guidelines for Ease of Doing Science; Towards Less Government More Governance” and a directory for the Ramalingaswami Re-entry fellows.

Singh said the Department of Biotechnology has established 15 theme-based autonomous institutions across the country. One international institution — New Delhi Centre of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology — and two public sector undertakings — BIBCOL and BIRAC — have also been established for manufacturing biologicals and fostering and nurturing the startup innovation ecosystem.

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