There has been an increase in the number of MPhil and PhD students, who received fellowships as part of schemes by the University Grants Commission and All-India Council for Technical Education, since 2013.
The schemes include Junior Research Fellowships and Non-National Eligibility Test (Non-NET) Fellowships. In 2013-14, 41,970 students were awarded fellowships which increased to 56,024 in 2014-15. Till March this year, this figure has gone up to 69,435. The UGC’s fellowship amount, under some of its prominent schemes, for students pursuing research degrees is Rs 25,000 per month for the initial two years and Rs 28,000 for the remaining tenure. Students are also eligible for allowances, as per the fellowship scheme. The fellowships awarded under the Non-NET schemes, through the UGC grants, are Rs 8,000 per month for PhD and Rs 5,000 per month for MPhil students.
There is no fixed allocation for fellowships and scholarships in UGC’s fund. The Central government releases block grants to the UGC for promotion, determination and maintenance of standards of education. In 2013-14, the fellowship amount released by the UGC and AICTE on fellowship schemes for students pursuing research degrees, was Rs 439.40 crore.
This almost doubled the next year (2014-15) to Rs 874.53 crore. This year, it has increased to Rs 1,013.23 crore. More than 30,000 students are selected annually for the fellowship schemes.
These include Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Students in Professional Courses, Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Women, Dr S Radhakrishnan Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Women in Humanities and Social Sciences, Including Languages, Dr DS Kothari Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Emeritus Fellowship, Junior/ Senior Research Fellowships, Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Students Belonging to Minorities, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC Students, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowships for Students with Disabilities and Non-NET Fellowships.