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‘Occupy UGC’ protesters march to HRD Ministry, detained

According to police officials, around 40 students were detained and taken to Parliament Street police station.

UGC, non-NET fellowships, Shastri Bhawan, NET, UGC students protest, Occupy UGC protesters, nation news, india news Students protesting against the crapping of non-NET fellowships outside the UGC office. (Praveen Khanna)

The students, who have been camping outside the UGC office for 29 days in protest against the scrapping of non-NET fellowships, once again marched to the HRD Ministry’s office in Shastri Bhawan on Wednesday to submit a memorandum.

However, the agitating students could not meet any officials from the Ministry, and 40 of them were detained by police hours later as they refused to budge from outside Shastri Bhawan.

According to police officials, around 40 students were detained and taken to Parliament Street police station.

“Around 40 students were detained today for violating prohibitory orders,” a senior police official said.

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Earlier, the students had marched to the Ministry on November 5, when HRD Minister Smriti Irani had come out for a brief interaction with them and reiterated the government’s stand of creating a review committee to examine the selection criteria and scope of non-NET fellowships.

“We waited for hours as we were told that some officials from the Ministry will come out and interact with us. But no one came and when we refused to leave from there, we were detained,” said Sunny Kumar, a protesting student.

“We wanted to present a memorandum of demands to them. We will not call of the protest until this review committee is scrapped which is no less than an eyewash,” he added.


UGC had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, citing shortage of resources.

But following the movement “Occupy UGC” by students, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (HRD) had appointed a five-member panel to review the research grants offered by UGC. The Ministry has also asked UGC to continue all existing grants but review the existing criteria for selection of the fellows.

The scheme is in place for providing financial assistance to students undertaking MPhil and PhD programmes. They are provided Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 per month, respectively.


However, students have rejected the government’s statement and have been demanding that the review committee be scrapped and the fellowship amount increased.

First published on: 18-11-2015 at 10:29:52 pm
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