Scholars demand early implementation of research fellowship hike

Unhappy with the disparity of dates in the implementation of the recent fellowship hikes for research students, scholars from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have designed a survey to gauge the mood for a second protest to correct this.

As many as 1000 scholars from across the country have already taken the survey and a protest is likely to break out in the following weeks if the authorities do not pay heed to the matter. After a sustained struggle over the hike for research fellowships, scholars in the country, who receive funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), were overjoyed at the nearly 50 percent hike announced around October, 2014.

However, a major grouse was its implementation on October 1, 2014 . In December, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced a similar percentage of hike to be applicable from December 1, 2014. Research scholars, however, demanded that the hike be implemented from April 2014 and cited previous hikes in 2007 and 2010 that came into affect in April.

“We are very happy with the percentage of the hike, but not with the timing of its implementation. As of now we are trying to push the authorities to have a meeting with us. There might be a big protest very soon if there is no positive outcome.

I have written many letters and sent mails to the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development), CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) on the matter, however, there has been no response,” said Pankaj Jain, secretary of academic affairs at the student council at IISc. “There will be a call for a nationwide protest and scholars in Bangalore including IISc will participate,” he added.

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