Research scholars demand stipend hike

Research scholars demand stipend hike

Around 1,000 scientists to demonstrate today

Close to 1,000 young scientists from several research institutes plan to hold a demonstration in front of the department of science and technology on Friday demanding a hike in their scholarship, which they claim is too low to sustain in big cities.

The young researchers from four universities and six research institutes decided to launch the agitation after they were denied an appointment with the Union human resource development minister to air their grievances.

Currently a junior research fellow receives Rs 16,000 per month while the stipend for the senior research fellows is Rs 18,000. After completing PhD, if anybody wants to pursue a career in science and do a post-doctorate as research associate at the age of around 30 years, he (or she) would get Rs 22,000-24,000 per month.

“Around 44 per cent of eligible fellows (who have qualified CSIR-UGC JRF/NET examination) don’t join Indian institutions for PhD and more than 50 per cent of eligible fellows join doctoral programmes abroad mainly because of the abysmal pay level in India,” Anjali Khatri, a research scholar at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi told Deccan Herald.

Scholars from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of Immunology, Dr Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Jamila Milia Islamia and Jamia Hamdard University will take part in the protest. Similar agitation has taken place at the Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh.

“The government is seized by the matter. I met the scholars in Bangalore last week. A committee has recommended an increase in the scholarship but it has to go through the government process that may tale a while. But it should not take too long,” said K Vijayraghavan, who is officiating as the department of science and technology secretary.

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