Having received the prestigious JSPS fellowship, I joined the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre of Toyo University in 2001. Almost all of the faculty members and administrative staffs were very cooperative and extremely helpful in making my life most comfortable in Japan. The positive working environment and support I received from the Centre and university encouraged me to continue my work at Toyo University, where I was eventually absorbed into faculty of the Centre and the newly established Graduate School of Interdisciplinary New Science.
The Indian JSPS Alumni Association (IJAA) was formed in 2006 to provide a platform for Indian scientists who have been JSPS fellows (including STA fellows) to exchange ideas, collaborate, and discuss various work and society-related topics. Realizing that scientific research is advanced through a combined effort of good brains, the association was initiated to provide linkage among alumni members working in various parts of the world. Summed up, the objectives of our alumni association are to promote scientific exchange along with research and cultural collaboration between India and Japan, while encouraging collaborative work between JSPS fellows, their host professors and the association’s honorary members. We also provide information that Indian JSPS fellows need to make their stays in Japan go smoothly. Currently, we have more than 180 members, and the number is growing day by day.
We have launched a website (http://www.indianjspsalumni.org) to bring all the Indian JSPS alumni together under one umbrella. We have also launched an alumni Yahoo Group site to facilitate group discussions regarding various issues related to the association and other matters. We also use the site to conduct polls when making some official decisions. Initially, the Yahoo Group was started because of the vast geographical distribution throughout the world among the alumni members, which of course poses a limiting factor on conducting meetings. The executive members of the association handle its day-to-day activities. In addition to providing information to current JSPS fellows, they also answer the questions of new JSPS fellowship aspirants in India. To coordinate the alumni association’s activities, we have formed four chapters based on India’s geography: one in the north, east, west and south. We conduct a nationwide alumni association get-together every year, with its organizer rotating among the four chapters.
We have started publishing an in-house magazine titled Concord, in which members and their family members share their creative skills and their experiences of living and doing research in Japan. We issue Concord as an e-newsletter. Our editorial board is responsible for selecting its articles and getting out the publication.
We have already taken the first step toward officially registering our alumni association with the Indian government. We are very interested in creating collaborations with other JSPS alumni organizations with an eye to exchanging ideas and developing fruitful relationships. It is our wish to play a positive role in advancing science around the world, led by JSPS fellows and associates in all countries.
Speaking on behalf of Indian JSPS Alumni Association, we extend a welcome invitation to all Indian JSPS fellows to join our club.