Non-NET fellowship revision: AIRSA writes to UGC Chairman for appointment

As per the association, the research scholar fellowship revision has been stalled at Rs 8,000 per month since 2006 
Pic credits: Edex Live
Pic credits: Edex Live

Listing out concerns and struggles, the All-India Research Scholars Association (AIRS) has written to University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar urging for revising Non-NET (National Eligibility Test) fellowships as per the established norms. 

"It is disheartening to note that NON-NET fellowships have remained unchanged at a mere Rs. 8,000 per month since 2006. This unjust stagnation severely impacts the diligent research scholars, who are dedicated to advancing knowledge in our nation. The delay in revising these fellowships has placed financial burdens on scholars, impeding their commitment to impactful research and development," the letter read. 

As per the letter, the factors which affected the well-being and daily survival of scholars are escalating cost of living, inflation, financial burden and more. Additionally, the challenges faced by non-NET scholars include insufficient infrastructure and resources, as well as inadequate support from their supervisors. "These factors hinder their ability to complete their research in a timely manner and hinder their full potential," it added. 

Listing out the concern areas which the UGC needs to address immediately, the letter highlighted four key issues: Revision of non-NET fellowships, the establishment of robust infrastructure and policies, equal HRA (House Rent Allowance) and Contingency Fund and issues of PhD scholar's harassment. 

Seeking UGC's intervention immediately, the letter stressed, "The revision of Non-NET fellowships, reconsideration of the hike in JRF, SRF, and RA fellowships, the establishment of robust infrastructure and policies, provision of equal HRA and Contingency funds, and addressing the issue of PhD scholar harassment are vital steps towards empowering research scholars and promoting a vibrant research ecosystem in our country." 

It may be recalled that recently, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) revised the fellowships for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) and Research Assitant (RA). AIRSA and several other research scholars are currently opposing this hike saying that they demand a 60% hike as opposed to the about 19% hike they have been given. 

AIRSA will protest the insufficient hikes on June 30. 

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