CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced that her government will start a grant to aid scholarships for non-NET MPhil and PhD scholars from the state. An amount of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for this.
The UGC has terminated the fellowship grant of Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 for non-Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) scholars pursuing MPhil and PhD courses.
“During the course of my interactions with university students in administrative review meetings in districts, they have brought to my notice the great distress caused to them due to stoppage of non-NET Fellowship Scheme for MPhil and PhD scholars by the UGC. The students have narrated with pain that many researchers do not have the money to even pay their hostel and mess fees, and some are even faced with the prospect of abandoning their dreams of pursuing research, due to stoppage of non-NET Fellowship,” Mamata said in a statement.
She alleged that the release of funds by UGC under NET-JRF fellowships has either been erratic or delayed and has caused “uncertainty and distress” to the recipients.
“Aspirations for higher education are rising. In the larger interest of research, and on behalf of the vast research scholar community of my state and other states — many of them first generation learners — I have already written a letter to the Union HRD Minister to re-start non-NET fellowships for MPhil and PhD scholars,” said Mamata.