NEW DELHI (AFP) -India’s best engineers are abandoning government space and defence research work for better salaries and projects in the private sector, sparking a recruitment crisis, a report said.
“We are alarmed. We must find a solution,” C.N.R. Rao, the head of the prime minister’s research panel told the Hindustan Times newspaper on Monday.
Rao told the newspaper that eight of his doctorate students went to General Electric alone this year to accept offers that promised better access to cutting-edge research and higher salaries.
“The rate of attrition has hovered around seven to eight percent” for the past several years, said G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, which plans to send an unmanned mission to the moon by the end of the decade.
The report said young professionals with advanced software and engineering skills at private companies in India can easily earn more than double the 670 dollars a month salary paid at top government-run research institutes, the report said.
The panel, which sent a report on the issue to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this month, recommended raising the retirement age of 60 as a first step to stem the crisis which also affects work at the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
Global companies have hired thousands of the country’s top management and engineering school graduates in the past decade to handle major research projects, the report said.
Overseas companies are forecast to spend as much as 225 billion dollars to outsource engineering and software services to India by 2020, according to the National Association of Software and Service Companies in an August report.