Centre launches fellowships for minority students

Twenty-five of these will be awarded to Ktaka students


Nine fellowships will be earmarked for women from minority communities, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat told Deccan Herald here on Tuesday.

While three fellowships will be granted to Christian candidates in Karnataka, another three will be earmarked for Buddhist students. Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid launched the fellowships, which will be 756 in number for the entire country a year.

“In case of non-availability of adequate number of candidates, the number of fellowships not availed during a year will be carried forward to the next academic session,” Khurshid said. The income ceiling of the parents/guardian of the candidates for the fellowships, which will be granted for studies in arts, commerce, science and engineering, will be Rs 2.5 lakh per annum. The selection of candidates, within the prescribed annual income limit, will be based on merit.

Even though the amount of fellowships would be on a par with the UGC senior and junior research fellowships, clearing NET/SLET (National Eligibility Test/State Level Eligibility Test) should not be insisted upon by the UGC for the award of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Fellowships instituted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
The UGC, which will be the nodal agency for implementing the scheme, will devise its own selection mechanism based on the percentage of marks obtained by the candidates in their qualifying postgraduate examination. It will also evolve its own mechanism for verifying the genuineness of the minority community certificates furnished by the candidates in order to eliminate the possibility of students availing fellowship using fake certificates.

Khurshid said, other factors remaining the same, preference would be given to candidates who could deal with research themes/topics in areas pertaining to linguistic minorities, dialects/languages of linguistic minorities, protection of languages facing extinction as brought out by UNESCO and promotion of scripts for scriptless languages of linguistic minorities.
While a junior research fellow will receive Rs 12,000 per month, their senior colleagues will get Rs 14,000. The annual contingency grants will vary according to the courses—Rs 10,000 for juniors and Rs 20,500 for seniors in arts and commerce and Rs 12,000 and Rs 25,000 in science and engineering.

*The income ceiling of parents will be Rs 2.5 lakh per annum
*NET/SLET not to be insisted upon for Maulana Azad fellowships
*UGC to be the nodal agency for implementing the scheme
*Preference to candidates who can deal with minority studies
*Rs 2000 additional assistance for disabled candidates for escort

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