Here's why the students and researchers are tweeting #ReleaseScholarshipsFellowships

The online protest is led by the Congress-affiliated NSUI. The Minister of Education had however promised a quick disbursal of fellowships
The researchers during a protest in 2018 (pic: Facebook)
The researchers during a protest in 2018 (pic: Facebook)

The researchers and students across the country, who are eligible for government-funded scholarships and fellowships have been seeking a timely disbursal of funds to the government bodies for a while now. Demanding the same, they are taking it to Twitter tonight at 7.30 pm to tweet with the hashtag #ReleaseScholarshipsFellowship, as a protest. However, a few days ago, the union minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' had said that he had asked the University Grants Commission to release all the pending fellowship and scholarship money in a week.

Led by the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI), the protest had two triggers — the suicide of the Delhi University student Aishwarya Reddy, who was eligible for the INSPIRE scholarship and the union government's decision to shut down a scholarship scheme for SC students. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted about the latter on Sunday. "In BJP/RSS vision of India, Adivasis and Dalits should not have access to education. Stopping scholarships for SC-ST students is their way of ends justifying their means," he said.  He was talking about the post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students is reportedly shut down in fourteen states across the country. SC students from poor families, as part of this, were eligible for a stipend varying from Rs 230 to Rs 1,200 per month here.

An NSUI member also told us that the student political outfit had sent an email to the Minister of Education about the same. However, it apparently did not yield a response. "Now with universities and institutions demanding their annual fees, it's even harder for them (students and researchers). Most of the Research Scholars and students come from humble backgrounds and financial constraints like these could even force them to drop out or this would impact on their research's quality, educational degrees," reads the NSUI statement.

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