Published: 03rd June 2019
IIT K researchers furious as they are yet to receive new stipend, 5 months after hike was announced
The Ministry of Science and Technology had hiked the stipend amount by 25 per cent from January 1, 2019. But a memo by IITK says something different
On January 30, 2019, the Ministry of Science and Technology had announced a hike in the fellowship stipend for researchers across the country. The Official Memorandum (OM) released by the Ministry had stated that the 25 per cent hike in the stipend will be backdated and in effect from January 1, 2019. This was to be applicable for researchers across the country. However, a recent memorandum issued by IIT Kanpur stated that for the institute's researchers, the hiked fellowship rates will be disbursed only from June 1, 2019.
The OM that was released on May 30 says that it was issued in reference to the OM issued by the MHRD. It also says the new revised fellowship rates were approved by the Director on May 28, 2019. The discrepancy in the dates has created a lot of hue and cry among the IIT Kanpur researchers. The PhD students also tell us that nobody in the institute has received the revised stipend yet. This has also given rise to speculation among the students of possible internal corruption in IIT Kanpur.
"This is happening only in our institute. Students in many other IITs have already started receiving the hiked amounts. I do not understand what is wrong here," says a researcher. "We got to know about this only yesterday. The students are furious. There shouldn't be discrimination among researchers," he adds.
Another researcher alleged that the new OM wasn't sent to all the students. "Researchers are yet to know about this issue. This is quite unusual too since we mostly get all the OMs issued. Why should there be a bias like this?" he asks. He also says that the researchers aren't receiving their fellowships on time.
An email sent to the institute's director did not yield a response. This copy will be updated when the director replies.
Is the case exclusive to IITK?
Apparently not. A post in the Facebook group 'Hike in Research Fellowship 2018' says that the researchers in IIT Dhanbad received the hiked stipends only from April 2019. It wasn't backdated too. The post is accompanied by the image of an OM issued by the institute that says the same.
The situation is similar in IIT Delhi too, say the researchers. "Until now, we have been receiving the old fellowship stipend," says Vickey Nandal, National Representative of Fellowship Hike Movement and Students Council member of IIT Delhi. "We were told by the institute that we will receive the hiked amount in the next few weeks. But again, we do not know if it will be backdated," he says, observing that there is a miscommunication between the IITs and MHRD.