Published: 24th November 2020
This scholarship for single girl child researchers has not even had application calls for a year: Researchers write to Pokhriyal
The Joint Research Council Of India (JRCI) also wrote a letter to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal highlighting the issue
While the University Grants Commission (UGC) had said that it will release funds for all scholarships and fellowships for Junior and Senior Research Fellows (JRF and SRF), one scholarship dropped off the list — the Swami Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Sciences. It's not just that the funds were not released but there has been no notification since 2018 on the SVSGCS, said researchers.
Let alone the release of funds, application forms have not been issued yet. "I had my hopes on this scholarship. Some of my fellow colleagues and I had called the UGC about this earlier this year. They had said that there was a delay and the process will be initiated in October but nothing happened. There has been no fruitful response from the UGC as well. We are tired of calling them," said a JRF from IIT Guwahati who is pursuing her PhD in Linguistics. "It is a little more expensive to pursue your research at an IIT. But I was depending on this scholarship. I have been forced to self-fund. There are a lot of costs involved — from visiting other institutes and attending seminars to carrying out surveys — which the scholarship pays for. We don't know what to do next," said the researcher.
The Joint Research Council Of India (JRCI) also wrote a letter to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal highlighting the issue. "It is to be noted that the primary aim of SVSGC is to 'make them (girls) strong, fearless and conscious of their dignity' as per the policy guidelines. Needless to say, the scheme has been supporting girls in their education who face gender-discrimination in society. The policy aims to compensate 'direct costs of higher education especially for single girl child of their parents'. Therefore, many underprivileged girls count on the scheme for supporting their education. With the delay in the release of the scheme, many talented young girls are finding it difficult to keep their hopes on their education. It is hampering them both economically and psychologically," said the letter urging the minister to at least inform the students the reason behind the delay.