PhD scholars of University of Pune (UoP) have decided to launch a bheekh maango (begging for alms) aandolan from May 7 as they have not received any stipend for the past two years.
UoP officials,however,say the matter regarding stipends is being studied by a sub-committee and based on its report,the management council will take a decision on when and how much stipend should be given to scholars.
The stipend of PhD fellows has been a matter of discussion at UoP for quite sometime now.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had changed its rules for PhD in 2009. After that,new candidates were given admissions in 2010. While the candidates are supposed to get a monthly stipend,they have been given nothing since their admission in 2010,said a PhD scholar.
Yogesh Tekade,a student of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies,UoP,said,We have been research fellows at UoP for the past two years. When former vice-chancellor Raghunath Shevgaonkar was here,he had declared a scholarship of Rs 18,000 for 100 candidates. Once he left,nothing was done about that. We have also been waiting for our dues,but nothing has happened yet.
Another candidate,Pankaj Ahire,said,We have been taking this issue to officials. However,no positive step has been taken yet. We have been doing research here without getting a single penny. Officials asked us to give them some time to look into the matter. However,if we do not see any initiative being taken by the university,we are going to protest by begging on campus as well as spots in the city from May 7.
The Board of College and University Development (BCUD) looks after such issues. BCUD director Wasudev Gade said,We have issued a letter for students telling them about our decision of giving Rs 6,000 stipend to them for a year. However,they want some changes and want the amount to be provided to them for two years. We have not turned down their demand. We have formed a committee to look into the matter and will present their report to the management council. Based on the council decision,we will make necessary changes.