Published: 11th November 2020
Shouldn't have to lose a student to get this: Students react after UGC promises to release SRF, JRF scholarship funds in a week
According to UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, the disbursal was delayed due to some technical issues which he did not elaborate on
The University Grants Commission (UGC) will disburse the pending emoluments to Junior Research Fellows (JRF) and Senior Research Fellows (SRF) within a week, announced officials. But the Junior and Senior Research Fellows say there are a few kinks when it comes to the communication among the students, varsities and the UGC which still needs to be resolved for a smooth flow of funds on a monthly basis.
A Junior Research Fellow (JRF) at the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) of the Jawaharlal University, Saket Moon said that even if the UGC disburses the amount today it will take a lot of time to reach the students. "The system has been updated and now we can track when our scholarships and fellowships are being disbursed. But there is no such mechanism on the university's end. We are linked to the UGC through the university. But if they do not function properly then the funds will be delayed no matter when disbursed," he added. Saket is also the Vice-President of the JNU Students' Union.
Mritunjay Pandey, a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) of the Department of Economics at the University of Hyderabad said that the announcement came as a huge relief but it is sad that a student had to lose her life for this. "The delay in getting the fellowship was pushing us to the well of distress. It has been months and it was practically impossible to ask from family as they don't have a stable source of income. The promise from UGC of releasing the pending fellowships within a week is a huge relief. It was not just an individual struggle but thousands of scholars have really been suffering," he said and added, "The long pending scholarship has pushed a student, Aishwarya, a second year maths student of LSR college to end her life. Like Aishwarya so many students depend on these scholarships for their day-to-day survival. It's so disheartening that the authorities got an epiphany only after losing a bright student. At least from now on we expect a continuous and stable disbursal of fellowships."
According to UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, the disbursal was delayed due to some technical issues which he did not elaborate on. "The technical issues which had delayed the disbursal have been resolved and along with the existing emoluments, the backlog would also be cleared and the fellowships would be deposited in the respective accounts within this week," he said.
The JRF scheme of the UGC is for candidates who qualify in the National Eligibility Testing (NET) and the UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joint test and the tenure of fellowship is initially for two years. While a JRF scholar gets Rs 31,000 per month, an SRF scholar gets Rs 28,000. In June 2019 UGC-NET exam, 51,000 candidates qualified for assistant professors, while 4,756 of them qualified for JRF.
(With inputs from PTI)