Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST has confirmed that fellowship hike will be announced today. The percentage hike was not mentioned. The hike will be applicable to all researcher scholars immaterial of which central agency is funding them.
“Fellowship hike will be announced today,” Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST said in a message to me. But the percentage hike was not mentioned. The hike will be applicable to all research scholars immaterial of who the funding agency is. This is because DST had brought all the stakeholders (funding agencies) on board.
Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India had earlier said that fellowship hike will be announced on January 29 or 30. He had confirmed that the Finance Ministry had already passed the order based on the recommendation by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
This will bring to an end the six-month-long struggle by research scholars who have been demanding 80% hike in fellowship and regular disbursal of fellowship. Representatives had met Prof. Sharma and Prof. VijayRaghavan in end October and November 2018 respectively. They had also met Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in end December.
In an email to me on January 17, Prof. VijayRaghavan had said: “DST will review the [fellowship] situation on a yearly basis. This will allow steady and calibrated changes and any rationalisation as necessary.”
Currently, junior research fellows (JRFs) get Rs.25,000 per month while senior research fellows (SRFs) get Rs.28,000 per month. The last revision in fellowship was in October 2014. There are nearly one lakh PhD scholars in India.