Occupy UGC protesters Monday met University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Ved Prakash to seek a clarification over the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Sunday night statement with regards to non-NET fellowship issue.
Unsatisfied with the response, the students have decided to continue occupying the area outside the UGC.
The statement had said a review committee would be set up look into issues related to non-NET fellowship but “irrespective of the recommendations” of the committee, the non-NET fellowship would be continued. Students, however, find some issues to be considered by the committee problematic.
“There was a clear attempt by the UGC chairman to confuse on several issues. He was also non-committal on many issues which were supposedly clinched by the ABVP like extending the fellowship to state universities. The letter also mentions that the economic criteria may be employed as ‘eligibility’ which we reject but he did not clarify on that,” said JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who led the delegation.
“The committee set up by the UGC to look into enhancement of non-NET scholarship recommended its scrapping, then why should we believe that it will give recommendations favourable to students?” said AISA national president Sucheta De.
After the HRD ministry statement, the protesters have drawn up four demands. These include the issuance of a notification by the HRD ministry and the UGC making the previous decision null and void, withdrawal of any “exclusionary criteria” such as merit or economic criteria, increase in the fellowship from the present scale of Rs 5,000/Rs 8,000 commensurate with increase in JRF and for it to be extended to “all state universities”.