The government has revised the guidelines for the national research fellowship. Under the new guidelines, government has mandated the Scheduled Caste students to take the National Eligibility Test (NET) to apply for the PhD and MPhil funding. They will have to qualify for the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) through the National Eligibility Test in order to secure the special research funding.
This fellowship has been given by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment since 2005 for the benefit of students belonging to the Scheduled Castes. It is disbursed to the students who want to pursue their MPhil and PhD in sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering or technology at the Indian universities. The new guidelines will affect nearly 2,000 students; 1,500 from the sciences and 500 from the humanities. Before this, SC students were not required to take the NET to apply for the funding. They were selected only on the basis of their research proposals. Only condition was that they have to pass their post-graduate examination.
In a press conference held on 28 December, 2018 by the DUTA (Delhi University Teachers Association); they protested the “attack on reservation in educational institutions”. Prime Minister has also received the criticism from within the party for this decision. During the conference, BJP Lok Sabha MP Udit Raj called these rules very unjust and discriminatory. These will dissuade the SC students from pursuing their higher education. A Delhi-based group had also written to the University Grants Commission pleading that the eligibility criterion for the fellowship should be relaxed for the lower castes
It has been reported that UGC will develop a programme to make sure that students do not use any fake certificates to avail the funding benefits. Student who have received the fellowship under the NET-JRF scheme will not get any additional benefits from the schemes handled by the UGC.
Tags : #NET #Mandatory #SC #Students #Fellowship