TSR panel proposed the HRD ministry that they should start a new initiative of National Higher Education Fellowship Fund which will give 10 lakh fellowships for higher study. This panel was incorporated by the MHRD to give advice for devising a New Education Policy (NEP).
The step was taken by the Committee in order to improve equity and accessibility in the higher education sector.
According to the statistics, the UGC currently issues education fellowship of near to Rs 1050 crore every year to about 82,000 beneficiaries covering 35,000 fellowships each year.
This comprises of around 200 scholarship schemes offered by the MHRD as well as other ministries. This does not include the fellowships of other agencies such as in agriculture, defense, science and technology, CSIR etc.
The panel stated, “With the objective of encouraging merit and promoting equity, the Committee recommends the establishment of a National Fellowship Fund, primarily designed to support the tuition fees, learning material and living expenses for about 10 lakh students every year.”
The panel said that these scholarships must be provided to students who are in need of financial assistance or below the poverty line.
The panel also proposed to introduce an exam similar to the National Talent Search Examination being conducted by the NCERT at class 10 stage, at +2 level for all categories of students. Students who clear the eligibility criteria will be provided fellowship covering tuition fees, learning material and living expenses to pursue higher education.
A separate national talent scholarship scheme after class 12 was also proposed by the panel. This exam will be conducted for meritorious students of all categories picked via a national level examination.