The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to increase the scholarship amount for junior research fellowship (JRF) by 35 to 40 per cent.
The move will ensure that researchers get money almost equivalent to the basic pay — Rs 20,800 per month — of entry-level Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials and assistant professors UGC has also decided to hike scholarships for women pursuing post-doctoral fellowship by about four times.
With this, women without research experience will get Rs 25,000 (which was Rs 6,000 earlier) while those with experience will get Rs 30,000 per month as against Rs 8,000 earlier. The contingency grant for these women scholars has been increased to Rs 50,000 per annum.
The commission, earlier this month, decided that junior research scholars will now get Rs 16,000 per month (Rs 12,000 earlier) for first two years and Rs 20,000 (Rs 14,000 earlier) for the next three years.
The physically challenged researchers will get an escort allowance of Rs 2,000 per month along with the scholarship.
“The scholarship amount has been enhanced so that scholars don’t leave mid-day to join teaching,” UGC chairperson Sukhdeo Thorat said.
The new scholarship amount — to be available to 6,500 researchers every year (doubled as compared to last year) — will be applicable from the new academic year 2009-10.
Only students who have cleared the National Eligibility Test will be eligible for the scholarships.
The proposal to enhance the scholarship was taken after a recommendation by RP Aggarwal, Higher Education Secretary in the HRD ministry. “The fellowship amount should be increased to 50 per cent subject to the condition that it is less than initial pay for a fresh appointee as assistant professor,” Aggarwal had told UGC in letter on July 30.
With this, the UGC is looking to meet the demand for faculty with requisite research credentials and PhD degrees.