New jobs for chemist are afoot in India and the country is now seeking to boost the workforce to help stem the rising tide of chemical manufacturing.
The National Chemical Industry Council (NCIC) announced Friday that the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (NICIR) has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the state of Tamil Nadu to help expand the number of post-doctoral positions.
The grant is one of several to be awarded this year in an effort to boost Indian scientists and engineers in a country where about one in five jobs is in the chemical industry.
The institute said the award was for research and development activities to develop products and systems for use in the manufacturing of chemical products and chemicals.
The NCIC said the money will be used to support research in chemical manufacturing, with a focus on the chemical-based manufacturing sector.
“The funding will help support the growth of chemical engineering and the advancement of the Indian scientific and technical community, as well as the ability of our scientists to perform their scientific work,” NICIR chief executive officer A.S. Ramakrishnan told reporters.
“It is the first grant awarded by the NCIC to support Indian chemical engineering, and the award will go a long way in helping the industry achieve its long-term development goals.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said last year that India would invest $2.6 billion in the industry over the next decade to help its chemical sector create 10,000 jobs.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Modi said the goal was to make the country a manufacturing powerhouse by 2025.
“I am going to put a lot of emphasis on the manufacturing industry and in the next five years, the country will have an export economy.
It will be the largest in the world,” he said.
India has about 1.3 million chemists, who are responsible for the production of the chemical components in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cosmetics and food products.
The number of chemical engineers has grown steadily in recent years as Indian scientists have become more skilled and motivated to research and develop their fields.
In 2014, the number was only 4,200, while in 2016, it was more than 3,500, according to NICIS.
The NCIC, a government agency that helps provide government support to the industry, is expected to announce another grant next week.