Published: 12th July 2022
Increase OBC seats in National Fellowships, urges All India OBC Students Association in a letter to Edu Minister
There is a need to increase National Fellowship seats from 1000 to 5000 and initiate Post Doctoral Fellowships for OBCs, the letter read
On July 10, the All India OBC Students Association (AIOBCSA) wrote a letter addressed to Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan seeking an increase in the allotment of OBC (Other Backward Classes) seats in National Fellowships. The NFOBCs (National Fellowships for OBCs) was introduced to help the OBC research scholars to pursue MPhil and PhDs in various universities.
Giving further details about the allotment of seats, the letter read, "The number of seats allocated for NFOBCs by the Ministry of Social and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) is 1000. And the number of slots allocated for the National fellowships for SCs, Minorities and STs are 2000, 1000 and 750." Further, it said as the number of OBC students willing to pursue PhD is increasing, "There is a need for increasing the National Fellowship for OBCs from 1000 to 5000 slots."
President of AIOBCSA, Gowd Kiran Kumar said, "OBC reservations were introduced in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) only in 2007. Its been 15 years, and many OBCs are now aspiring to do PhD in HEIs. For any research, financial assistance is crucial as it takes four to five years."
He further added, "National Fellowship for OBCs was introduced with a minimum of 300 slots and then raised to 1000 slots in 2016 after demands from OBC students. Comparatively, 1000 slots are not sufficient for OBCs now. Union Government must increase them to 5000 slots every year as many OBC students are pursuing PhDs in Central and State Universities."
The statement further highlighted that, "The UGC (University Grants Commission) is allocating 100 slots for Post Doctoral Fellowships for SCs and STs every year but there are no such fellowships for OBCs."
The AIOBCSA demands that the Minister of Education initiate Post Doctoral Fellowships for OBCs and increase the National Fellowship allotment of seats for OBCs from 1000 to 5000.