Published: 01st June 2019
#HikeResearchFellowship: Five months after protests, only 10 IITs have actually hiked stipends for researchers
A crowdsourced list says that most public institutes of higher education in the country are yet to disburse the hiked stipends
A little more than five months have passed since the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced a hike in the research stipend for the researchers across the country - following months of ugly protests. But a crowdsourced list tells us that most of the public institutes of higher education in the country are yet to disburse the hiked stipends to its researchers. This includes institutes like the IITs, NITs, IISERs and IIITs.
If sources are to be believed, of the 23 IITs in the country, only 10 have disbursed the hiked stipends. These are IIT Guwahati, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT BHU, IIT Dhanbad, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IIT Indore, IIT Mandi and IIT Ropar. Of the top five IITs, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay are apparently yet to update the stipends. IIT Kanpur has said that it will be updating the amount from June 1.
The list also says that only seven out of the 31 NITs have updated the fellowship amount to be disbursed to researchers. (Calicut, Silchar, Agartala, Warangal, Kurukshetra, Suratkal and Trichy). Of the seven IISERs, only IISER Mohali, IISER Kolkata and IISER Pune have disbursed the new amount. The other institute that has updated the amount is IIIT Allahabad. The situation is similar in IISc Bangalore too.
The list is said to be generated by crowdsourcing the information provided by the researchers in all the public institutes of higher education. While the researchers had previously demanded an 84 per cent hike and fought for the same for almost a year, the government had only hiked the stipends by 25 per cent. While a Junior Research Fellow is now supposed to receive a stipend of Rs 31,000, the stipend for a Senior Research Fellow is Rs 35,000.
"There is some serious miscommunication between the MHRD and the institutes," says Vickey Nandal, National representative of fellowship hike movement and PhD Representative of Co-curricular and Academic Interaction Council (CAIC), IIT Delhi. "We are planning to meet the new HRD minister soon and find a solution for this problem soon," he adds.
While the government had said that the stipend will be backdated and in effect from January 1, 2019, some IITs have not backdated the stipends.