Published: 12th November 2022
PhD scholars to send postcards to PMO highlighting their problems soon. Here's why
According to Dr Lal Chandra Vishwakarma, President of AIRSA, the funding agencies have been ignoring their requests for a long time
After their demands went unheard by the respective funding agencies, PhD scholars in Science across India have decided to conduct a postcard campaign. According to Dr Lal Chandra Vishwakarma, President of the All India Research Scholar Association (AIRSA), the agencies have been ignoring their requests for a long time.
"They (Department of Science and Technology) kept disregarding our representations and letters. Our emails and reminders went unanswered. And calls either weren't taken or dismissed. The Twitter campaigns we staged also did not bear any fruit. So we decided to send short letters like postcards briefly highlighting our problems to the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) now, to attract the government's attention towards our plight," Lal Chandra said.
It may be noted that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is an entity under the Ministry of Science and Technology, in charge of disbursing fellowships for research scholars in Science. Dr Vishwakarma informs that though there are a few other government agencies in charge of the funding as well, the DST is the premier body.
"We will hold an online meeting tomorrow (November 13) among the scholars across India and then decide the next course of action. The postcard campaign will begin in a day or two," the President said. He added that if nothing is done by the government soon, the researchers will resort to protesting.
AIRSA has put forth a slew of demands, including an increase in the stipend amount, its regularisation, better research funding and infrastructure and a suitable research environment in which scholars are safe from harassment. Both junior and senior researchers have been raising these demands for over three months now.