As many as 300 students pursuing their Ph.D at IISc Bangalore have demanded an inflation-based hike in their stipend. The research scholars have written postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting their need to have the stipend revised and that it should also be disbursed on time.
The postcards refer to the Prime Minister Research Fellowship, popularly known as PMRF scheme, which was launched to encourage interested and talented candidates to take up doctoral and research programmes in the relevant fields. As part of the scheme, the short-listed candidates are offered to carry out their research at one of the IITs or IISc Bangalore.
As per one of the postcards, the scheme caters only to a few research scholars and lot of other scholars are neglected.
Gaurav Solra, who works as General Secretary at IISc Students’ Council, says that a JRF is given a monthly stipend of Rs.25000 and SRF scholar gets Rs.28000 monthly under UGC norms whereas they should actually receive Rs.50,000 and Rs.56,000 respectively.
At present, there are 3,900 students at IISc Bangalore, out of which 2,500 are Ph.D students and 1,400 students are in undergraduate and master’s programmes.
The last revision in the stipend was done in the year 2014 when JRFs' stipend was increased from Rs.16,000 to Rs. 18000 whereas SRFs' stipend was increased from Rs.18,000 to Rs. 28,000.
Apart from this, research scholars from the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, TIFR, Bengaluru have also asked for a hike in the fellowship amount from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Department of Atomic Energy, and to the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India.
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