New Delhi: With effect from January 1, 2019, Central Government has enhanced the fellowship of PhD students and other research personnel enrolled in any area of science and technology, including Physical and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences, Pharmacy etc.
Congratulating research scholars, Union Science & Technology Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that PhD scholars, working in science and technology, are the most significant contributors to the knowledge base of the country for its industrial competitiveness, academic vibrancy and technology led innovations. Emphasizing on the commitment of the government Dr Vardhan said that improving the value of PhD research cannot be a one-time exercise but requires constant input and efforts which the Government is fully committed to undertaking.
The hike in fellowship will directly benefit over 60,000 Research Fellows and also provide a template to the States to consider an increase in their fellowship rates. Fellowship of the Junior Research Fellows in the first two years of PhD programme is increased from the current rate of Rs.25,000/- to Rs.31,000/- per month. Similarly, in the remaining tenure of PhD, Senior Research Fellow will get Rs. 35,000/- per month instead of the present Rs.28,000/- per month.
Further, there is substantial 30-35% enhancement in the financial rewards for the scientists involved in the R&D projects as Research Associates. The top bracket of Research Associateship is fixed at Rs.54,000/-. All the research fellows are also entitled to HRA as per Central Government norms.
The government has ensured that this empowering mechanism is uniformly applicable across all the fellowship granting Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Academic and Government R&D Organizations of the country. Science & Technology is a fast-moving area in which a dynamic and holistic vision is required to secure the future of the nation.
For the first time, the Government has also recommended a set of strong financial and academic incentives to enhance and recognize the performance of our research fellows. This will be a performance-based addition to the fellowship. An Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee has been constituted to periodically examine all the fellowship matters that have a bearing on enhancing the value, quality and experience of doctoral research, including the quantum of fellowship. One of the recommendations is to involve PhD students in undergraduate teaching and managing research infrastructure during their doctoral research. This will not only widen their scope of training but also enhance their career prospects.