Students in self-financing universities and colleges may soon be eligible for a large number of University Grants Commission (UGC) fellowships and scholarships that at present are open only to students from institutions receiving government grants.
The UGC has proposed allowing students from private universities benefits like the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and the Post Graduate Merit Scholarship, top government officials revealed.
The Indira Gandhi Scholar-ship for girls, the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students, and post-doctoral fellowships for SC/ST candidates are some of the other UGC grants for which private college students will be eligible.
“We are okay with this proposal. The more the number of beneficiaries, the better,” said a senior HRD official.
The HRD ministry had earlier turned down a proposal from the UGC to provide grants to private and self-financing institutions, the official said. The ministry had argued that the UGC should concentrate on funding government institutions apart from selective grants to private institutions for specific purposes.
The UGC then revised its proposal to keep out direct grants to these institutions. Under the new proposal, the UGC will reimburse private and self-financing institutions the amount they provide as fellowships and scholarships to their students.
Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of students today study in private institutions. The government does not want to keep them outside the net of UGC benefits, sources said.