Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) is a US based volunteer run and a non-profit organization. Sci-ROI was initiated by a group of postdocs and Professor Aseem Z. Ansari of the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the ambit of WINStep Forward – a nonprofit that promotes science and technology between India and the USA.Sci-ROI was officially launched by the then Consul General of India Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and WINStep Forward at the Consulate General of India, Chicago in May 2015.
Several members of Indian government and a number of leading policy makers of Indian and the US institutions addressed Sci-ROI’s first inaugural gathering. The eminent speakers of the inaugural event included Prof. T. K. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), Govt. of India; Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Executive Director, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF). The focal point that emerged from Sci-ROI’s inaugural gathering was an imminent need of a platform to apprise graduate students, postdocs and early career scientists on the recent developments in the research and entrepreneurial environment in India. In recognition of this earnest need, Sci-ROI launched its first annual, multidisciplinary Young Investigators Meeting - Chicago (YIM-C 2016) at Consulate General of India, Chicago in September 2016. The meeting was co-hosted by The University of Chicago, and was co-mentored by Professor Aseem Z. Ansari and Professor L. S. Shashidhara (Vice President, Indian National Science Academy).
India, the worlds’ second most populous democracy, earnestly requires to augment its existing education system and entrepreneurial environment en route to achieve its status as the world’s third largest economy in the next decade. The task ahead of improving the current educational infrastructure that can translate education into entrepreneurial opportunities for the majority of young Indian population is arguably a challenging task. Early career scientists and entrepreneurs from across disciplines and geographic boundaries can impact this educational landscape to help prepare the next generation of a vibrant community of scientists, scholars, and accomplished individuals who intend to engage in research and entrepreneurial enterprise and thus help build a strong workforce in India in these disciplines.
In recent years, government of India has put special emphasis in creating several world class organizations by increasing the number of science and technology institutions such as IITs and IISERs. These government initiatives have not only provided immense employment opportunities but also avenues to establish newer education and entrepreneurial ventures in India. However, a majority of scholars and entrepreneurs working in the USA lack information on such emerging opportunities, especially in the mid-western United States. Through meetings such as Young Investigators Meeting, while participants get an opportunity to expand their knowledge on employment opportunities in the diverse areas of academia, government and industry through engaging with peers, delegates of Indian government/institutions and senior Indian/US leaders, headhunters at the same time also get access to a pool of highly qualified employments seekers of diverse disciplines and talents.