The central government on Wednesday hiked the fellowships for research scholars, who were out on the streets in the past six months demanding a rise in their pay packet.
According to the new order from the Department of Science and Technology, junior research fellows, who have just begun their research career will receive an emolument of Rs 31,000 per month whereas the senior research fellows with two years of experience would receive Rs 35,000.
Currently, JRF and SRF receive an emolument of Rs 25,000 and Rs 28,000 respectively.
Research associates – scholars with a minimum three years of research, teaching, design and development experience – have categorised in three groups – research associate-1, RA-2 and RA-3. Those who are in the first category will receive Rs 47,000 per month whereas RA-2 and RA-3 would get Rs 49,000 and Rs 54,000 respectively.
In addition, house rent allowance would be provided to those who are not provided hostel accommodation. Also, research fellows and research associates will be entitled to the medical allowance as applicable in the implementing institution.
The new pay structure will come into effect from January 1, 2019, says the order. Few thousand students pursuing a career in science laboratories will benefit from the hike.
Students were holding a nation-wide campaign for a rise and submitted a memorandum of demands to the Human Resource Development Ministry, Department of Science and Technology and University Grants Commission. They also had meetings with top officials like Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijayraghavan and Department of Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma.
The institutions where students hit the streets include Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru; Indian Institute of Technologies and laboratories under DRDO and CSIR.
The fellowship was last revised by the government in 2014 when it was hiked by 56% after four years. Since 1999, the emoluments were hiked three times.
Research scholars, however, are unlikely to be satisfied with the rise as the latest increase is far less than the 80% jump they demanded.