Microsoft Research Lab India on Wednesday announced doctoral fellowships in India to encourage students to take up research in computer science as a career.
Microsoft Research India is one of five research labs run by Microsoft of Redmond, Wash.
Although India has world-class research talent, it awards fewer than 50 doctorates in computer science research every year, said Padmanabhan Anandan, managing director of Microsoft Research India in Bangalore.
One of the reasons for fewer students completing their doctorates in the country is that post-doctoral career options are mainly limited to academic positions, Anandan said. There are good career opportunities for students who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, and in these circumstances it becomes hard for a student to justify spending more time on his doctorate, he added.
Besides offering some of the fellows jobs at Microsoft Research India, the lab also plans to work with industry in India to ensure that career opportunities for candidates with doctorates get created, Anandan said.
The fellowships will be awarded to students aiming to get a doctoral degree. Each student selected under the program will receive about US$5,000 per year over four years, and also $5,000 for attending seminars and conferences during the term of the fellowship. The fellows will also have the option of a three-to-six-month internship at Microsoft Research India.
The lab has already awarded five fellowships for this year. Selections were based entirely on merit, and the fellows are not required to research in areas designated by Microsoft, Anandan said.
Microsoft also announced Wednesday that Abishek Kumarasubramanian from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras has been selected through a contest for a one-year internship with the company’s chairman, Bill Gates, and will work with his technical assistance team in Redmond.
Kumarasubramanian was selected in a competition called Code4Bill, which was announced by Gates during his visit last year to India. More than 20,000 students registered for the contest, which included three online technical challenges and two rounds of one-to-one interviews. Nineteen students on the short list also interned with Microsoft India for a period of two months.
-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)
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