Research scholars demand hike in fellowship stipend

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 17 January 2019

Researchers and scholars from research institutions, including the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS) and the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) staged a march to demand a hike in their fellowship stipend on the university campus on Wednesday.

Pune: Researchers and scholars from research institutions, including the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS) and the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) staged a march to demand a hike in their fellowship stipend on the university campus on Wednesday.
 
Hundreds of students from city-based research institutions observed a ‘black day’, joining the nation-wide protest observed by thousands of research fellows.Around 300 research students of premier institutes in Pune marched in silence. While marching, they held banners displaying slogans such as ‘Hike in fellowship is our right!’, ‘Jab hum hai pareshan, to kaise aage badhe vigyan’ (How will science go ahead, if its scientists do not have peace?), ‘Sabki hai yehi pukar, ab toh badha do humari pagaar’ (All are demanding, at least now increase our fellowships), ‘Unite for research scholars’ respect and dignity’, ‘What does the future of research scholar in India hold?’, and ‘Fellowship is our right, and this is not to be begged for but to be fought and won!’

The research students from the university submitted a letter to SPPU Pro-Vice Chancellor NS Umarani stating that since 2006, in every four years, 60 per cent of hike has been granted to research fellows. A similar hike is expected in 2018 as well, which should have been effective from April 1, 2018. Their other demands have been annual and regular increment of fellowship and timely disbursement of the stipend by government funding agencies, including CSIR, DBT, DST, UGC, DAE and MHRD. 

Thousands of students also gathered at the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) office in Delhi and announced an indefinite hunger strike.

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