The government today announced 24-25% hike in fellowship to JRFs and SRFs respectively. The revised fellowship will take effect from January 2019 onwards. This is the lowest percentage hike since 2006.
Today, the Ministry of Science and Technology officially announced a hike in research fellowship of Junior Research Fellows (JRFs) and Senior Research Fellows (SRFs). The fellowship has been hiked from Rs.25,000 to Rs.31,000 per month for JRFs and from Rs.28,000 to Rs.35,000 per month for SRFs. This will be applicable to all research scholars working on R&D programmes funded by the Central Government Department/Agencies.
The revised emoluments will take effect from January 1, 2019. The last revision in fellowship was in October 2014. There are nearly one lakh PhD scholars in India.
Research scholars had been demanding 80% hike and to be effective from October 2018 onwards. “The hike will be based on some logic, some formula. I can’t say how much it will be. It is for the Finance Ministry to decide,” Prof. Ashutosh Shaarma told me on January 17.
“DST will review the [fellowship] situation on a yearly basis. This will allow steady and calibrated changes and any rationalisation as necessary,” Prof. VijayRaghavan said in a January 17 email to me.
The hike in fellowship was 60% in 2006, 50% in 2007, 33% in 2010 and 56% in 2014. Compared with previous hikes, the 24-25% increase announced today is the lowest.
“Any fellowship hike below 80% will not be acceptable to research scholars of India. And we want the hike to be applicable from October 2018 and not January 2019 onwards,” says Nikhil Gupta, national representative of Research Scholars of India, an association leading the petition and a research scholar at the Centre for Biomedical Research, Lucknow. “We will continue our protest till the government meets our demand.” Research scholars from across the country have been protesting for the last months. A hike of 80% and regular disbursement of fellowships have been the main demands.
The revised emoluments for Research Associates is Rs.47,000, Rs.49,000 and Rs.54,000 for Research Associate-I, Research Associate-II and Research Associate-III respectively. “Research associates may be fixed at a consolidated amount at one of the three pay levels depending upon the qualification and experience. The institute/organisation concerned may decide the level in which a particular associate should be placed based on the experience,” the office memorandum notes.