Published: 06th May 2020
CSIR begins the selection of SRFs and Research Assistants, after mails asking candidates to "take up other opportunities"
The notification was uploaded in the research institute's website on Tuesday evening, after some researchers said that they had received mails that they were also free to take up other opportunities
The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, on Tuesday, issued a notification saying that it has already begun the selection process of its SRF fellows and Research Assistants for the academic year 2019-20, which has been pending. "The selection process (of select subject areas) has been completed and the list of the selected candidates is published on CSIR-HRDG website. No award letter, however, has been issued [sic]," reads a letter issued by CSIR Chief scientist N B Bhoi.
It also says that the award letters to all the selected candidates will be issued on October 1. However, a few days prior to this, a few SRF candidates had received an email from Bhoi, which said that the award letters may be sent through email 'subject to availability of funds'. He also advised them to take up other fellowships or jobs if they get an opportunity.
The researchers who have been waiting for this notification condemned the email. "The interviews were supposed to happen from December. We were supposed to get our interview call letters long back. I wrote to the CSIR when this was delayed," she said. "But now it looks like the previous email is no longer valid," says a researcher. Scholars are also unhappy about the delay in the dates of release of award letters. "The institute usually releases its award letters in April. Now, there is a six-month-long delay. This is an unfair decision," says another researcher.
At the same time, a few existing CSIR researchers have also alleged that they are yet to receive their fellowship stipends. Most of them have their stipends pending from even before the pandemic struck India. "I haven't received my stipend since December 2019. This is my only source of income," says Nikhil Gupta, a CSIR researcher. He has also written letters to the CSIR chief Shekhar C Mande, the HRD Minister and the Minister of Health and Family Welfare about this.