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No Modernization For Docs, Teachers

The "critical" fields of study to which a newly created government stipend plan hopes to attract talented minds curiously omits several professions often thought to be the bread and butter of a developed society, including teachers and doctors.

A list of 93 professions targeted by the modernization stipend plan signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was published Monday on a government web site. It focused on specialists in five areas deemed "critical" by the government: energy efficiency, nuclear, space and computer technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Recipients of the planned 8,000 stipends will receive between 2,000 and 14,000 rubles ($65 to $455) per month.

Specific jobs included steam turbine engineers, programmers and aviation specialists, but nowhere on the list are jobs related to the study of humanities.

Lev Yakobson, vice rector of the Higher School of Economics, told Vedomosti that the humanities didn't need help attracting students and that the government was supporting teachers by raising salaries to match regional average salaries by 2013.

"That's serious support," he said.

The government hopes that the initiative will help alleviate a shortage of highly qualified specialists in the country. As many as 50 percent of large technology companies can't find the specialists they need in Russia, the news magazine Expert reported.

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