Arrest of scholars in Delhi: IISER research students threaten to protest on Pune roads
Research students from the Indian institute of science education and research (IISER), Pune held a protest and a candle march at the institute on SaturdayUpdated: Jan 20, 2019 14:56 IST
Research students from the Indian institute of science education and research (IISER), Pune held a protest and a candle march at the institute on Saturday against the arrest of 2,000 research scholars in Delhi.
Doctor of philosophy (PhD) students threatened that, if their demands will not be met before Monday, they will come on the city streets to agitate.
The All India Research Scholars Association (AIRSA) and research fellows from all over India were protesting in front of the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) headquarters in New Delhi from January 16, 2019, demanding a hike in fellowship. So the Delhi police arrested 2,000 researchers and which include 20 research scholars from IISER, Pune.
Om Prakash Tiwari, a PhD student from IISER, Pune said, “Our representatives protested in a peaceful manner along with police permission in Delhi. But they were arrested by the police and detained in different police stations. This is not the right way to deal with research scholars.” Instead of discussing the problems with us, the government is using police force against us, Tiwari added.
It was long pending demand to hike research fellowship. According to students, the fellowship amounts were revised was 2014. According to that, junior research fellows get Rs 25,000 stipend, and a Senior Research Fellows gets Rs 28,000 monthly stipend. But because of the high inflation rate, it is difficult for students co-op with daily expenditure and research work.
Deepak Chaubey, another PhD student from IISER, Pune, said, “After our initial protest (held in November), we received a positive response from the government. However, instead of finding a solution the government has arrested scholars, which is wrong. Till date, we have protested inside our campus but from Monday we have decided to protest on the streets.”
The students also pointed out that they didn’t receive the fellowship amount in a regular manner. In a demand letter, students demanded uniform hike in PhD fellowships. The annual increment in the fellowship amount should be in accordance with the inflation, 80 per cent this time. This revised fellowship should be applicable from April 2018. Students also demanded timely and regular disbursement of fellowship.
Despite repeated attempts, the officials from the institute were not available to comment on the issue.