IIT Bombay decides to implement fellowship hike
More than six months after the Centre decided to hike the stipend given to research scholars, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) has finally decided to implement the decision.
In an e-mail sent to post-graduation (PG) students of the institute, Prasanna Majumdar, deputy director (finance and external affairs) announced that the institute will start disbursing the revised stipend for fellowships from August. The e-mail, accessed by Hindustan TImes, also said students will subsequently get arrears for January-June later.
The Central government’s department of science and technology (DST) had in January announced a 24% to 35% increase in emoluments given under various fellowships for research in science. However, the hike was delayed at IIT-B as the officials were unsure whether the hike is applicable to teaching assistantship (TA), a category of fellowships. “Certain issues related to the revision order and follow-up had been taken up by the institute since February 2019,” read the e-mail.
IIT-B offers two types of fellowships — research assistantship (RA), where scholars take up research assignment as part of their course and TA, which requires them to teach their juniors. Bulk of the post-graduate (PG) students at IIT-B opt for TA.
Earlier this month, the MHRD issued an office memorandum (OM) clarifying that the fellowship hike is applicable to “all MHRD-funded research and development programmes (including academic programmes)”.
While welcoming the decision, the scholars who have been agitating for the hike in emoluments blamed IIT-B authorities for the delay. “There was clear negligence from the administration. They were not serious about the issue. While other IITs had already implemented the hike, IIT-B kept waiting for clarification,” said a research scholar.
Students are also anxious about the arrears. “We hope that the arrears are cleared immediately,” said the scholar.