Stuck in between the aggravated students and the UGC over the discontinuation of the non-NET fellowship the HRD ministry stated that the decision is up for review via an expert panel even though it’s the fourth day of protest via the students from the universities panning across Delhi.
The HRD claim that they wish to review the programme as a whole in order to fortify the existing National Eligibility test commonly known as the NET and the Junior Research Fellowship also known as JRF scheme and if nor possible to create a new method of an all-India examination for those candidates who are non-NET qualified.
The officials claimed that “The aim is to focus on merit and equity in disbursal of the fellowships and not to discontinue them.” They also added that an expert committee is most likely to be set up in order to review all the fellowship programmes along with the proposal to hold a national examination.
The UGC has resolved to discontinue the non-NET fellowship in a meeting that was held on the 7th of October contending that the fellowship programme was discriminatory in nature and lacked uniformity among universities in the selection process.
In a communication to the ministry the UGC secretary stated that “Continuing the scheme would have also meant huge financial implications for UGC as the expenditure in 2014-15 alone, was to the tune of Rs 99.16 crore.”
The minutes of a UGC meeting in April had very clearly stated that the recent hike in the rate of scholarships had the potential of adversely affecting other fellowship and scholarship programmes.
The minutes stated that “The UGC has incurred an expenditure of about Rs 1,083 crore on scholarships and fellowships alone and that it is going to adversely affect other schemes unless additional resources are made available to the UGC.”
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