Research scholars unhappy with 20 pc hike in stipend

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 31 January 2019

The revised guidelines will be applicable to research scholars whose projects are funded under Central Government agencies such as DST, DBT, DRDO, DOS, MHRD, ICAR, ICMR, IIT, IISc, IISER etc.

PUNE: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) decision to hike the fellowship stipend amount by 20 per cent has come as a disappointment for many. According to some, this hike, coming after five years, is just to show concern ahead of the general elections. 

The decision was taken by DST on Wednesday after protests by the research fellows across the country. 

The previous hike was 56 per cent in the year 2014. 

According to the revised emoluments, the amount of fellowship stipend has been raised for Junior Research Fellow (JRF) from Rs 25,000 to Rs 31,000, for Senior Research Fellow (SRF) from Rs 28,000 to Rs 35,000. While for Research Associates I, II and III it has been increased to Rs 47,000, Rs 49,000 and Rs 54,000 from Rs 36,000, Rs 38,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively. The revised amount will be effective from January 1, 2019. 

The revised guidelines will be applicable to research scholars whose projects are funded under Central Government agencies such as DST, DBT, DRDO, DOS, MHRD, ICAR, ICMR, IIT, IISc, IISER etc.

“The increments sanctioned previously were 60 per cent, 56 per cent, respectively. The new hike doesn’t even come close to the average of the hikes given earlier. At least 50 per cent could have been raised, when the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) had assured a hike of 56 per cent. This indicates how the government neglects the research scholars who play an important role in developing and building the nation,” said Nikhil Gupta, national representative and co-ordinator of Research Scholars of India.

“We demanded an 80 per cent hike, but they have increased only by 20 per cent. Even if we consider 56 per cent (the previous one) it would have been a raise by Rs 9,000 but now it has been raised between Rs 3,000-7,000. Research scholars might protest against this injustice, as it has highly disappointed us,” said a research student from National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, on condition of anonymity. “However, we assume that the magnitude of these protests won’t be as impactful as it has been till now. The freshers in research fellowship are fine with the hike but not satisfied. Nevertheless, there are chances of low response this time, as government has also played safe with the increment,” he added.

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