Published: 26th December 2018
Javadekar, Harsh Vardhan assure 'substantial' stipend hike. Researchers threaten to protest again if it's less than 80%
The research scholars from IISc, IIT and other institutes met HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on December 26
After a countrywide strike demanding the government hike their research stipend, the Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday assured the protesting research scholars a 'significant hike' in the stipend. However, the scholars said that if the hike is less than 80 per cent and if they (the ministry) don't consider the periodic increment, they will protest again.
The student delegation from IISc, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, JNU, Delhi University, AIIMS and few other research institutes in the country met Javadekar, demanding a fellowship hike by at least 80 per cent, a periodic increment in the fellowship, a regular and timely disbursal of the stipend and the setting up of the Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (GRMS) to address the problems that Research Scholars face in their student life cycle. Replying to this, the minister assured the students a significant hike in the research stipend soon. He added that a provision on periodic increment and the setting up of GRMS will be taken into consideration, and the stipend will be disbursed on time.
Even though the students seemed satisfied with the response, there were obvious issues. "If the scholarship hike is less than 80 percent and if they don't consider the periodic increment the researchers will go to the protest again," says Vivek Sharma, Chairperson, IISc Students' Council. "We can not come on the streets after every four years. We should get what we deserve," he adds.
The students and the minister also discussed the need of stipend hike with an adequate increment along with the need for improvement in the overall research ecosystem. They also met Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology on December 24, raising the same demands. He has also agreed to the terms and is believed to be agreeable for increasing the stipends for KVPI and INSPIRE.
Prior to that, on December 21, research scholars all over the country hit the streets demanding a hike in their fellowships.