The problem with govt's monthly fellowship of Rs 70,000 for IIT and IISC researchers

25th Aug 2017
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PhD students in IISC and IITs all over India will now get Rs 70,000 as monthly fellowship. The announcement was made by Kewal Kumar Sharma, Secretary of Higher Education at the 67th Foundation Day function of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

Students who have completed their graduation from institutes like IIT and NIT will be eligible for the scholarship that will be given for a period of five years.

Currently, scholars pursuing PhD in IITs have been getting a scholarship of Rs 25,000 per month for the first two years. It is increased to Rs 28,000 for the remaining period after successfully completing the Progress Seminar. According to PTI, Secretary of Higher Education said in his speech,

"As part of the research fellowship scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we wish the meritorious students who are being forced to leave the country for purely financial reasons stay within the country. We will provide 2,000 such monthly fellowships across the IIT system and IISc Bengaluru…We hope to make it possible in the next couple of months, so it can be feasible to implement in the next session,"

Image: Framepool

The government has also approved a scheme to enable select institutions become 'Institutes of Eminence' to catapult them to the global top 100 ranking slot.

Under the 'Institute of Eminence' scheme, grants upto Rs 1,000 crore have been approved over the next five years which will be given to the selected institutions to attain rank of Institute of Eminence. According to IANS, Sharma said,

"Each institution will be called upon to submit a plan for next 10-15 years which will be placed before a committee"

Though this grant looks promising at first glance, the grant is only aimed at scholars who had graduated from IITs and other similar institutes. In 2016, the number of girls enrolled in the IITs was just eight percent of the total student population. And despite the reservations, a majority of the graduates in IITs are from creamy layers of the society. In such scenario, it is disturbing to note that a majority of the students benefiting from the grant will be the privileged population, which does not help the ones in need.

(With inputs from IANS)

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