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Over 50% rise in fellowship amount for research scientists in India

Education NewsThe Indian government has recently announced more than 50% increase in the fellowship amount granted to different categories of research scientists, in a bid to retain such talent within the country. The move by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) is expected to act as an incentive to make the scientists remain in the country for their research work and not move overseas for the same. It will also motivate talented candidates to opt for research as a career.

The rise will be with effect from October, 2014 and will enhance the research endeavors in India. At present, around one lakh science research scholars as well as associates work in various institutes in India.

As per the ministry initiative, the monthly fellowship amount for research associate-III rises from Rs 24,000 to Rs 40,000, for research associate-II it increases from Rs 23,000 to Rs 38,000, for research associate-I from Rs 22,000 to Rs 36,000, senior research fellow from Rs 18,000 to Rs 28,000 and for junior research fellow it goes up from Rs16,000 to Rs 25,000.

Moreover, added incentives such as House Rent Allowance (HRA) and medical benefits will be available as before to research scholars under all the categories, according to the central government regulations/regulations of host institutes (whichever is applicable). The research fellows/research associates will continue to avail their travel incentives as per category. There are added benefits for women research scholars (all categories) as well.

The government has directed the MST to implement a “web-based fellowship assessment and disbursement mechanism” to avoid delays in disbursement of fellowships. According to MST officials, the individual ministries/agencies can apply the guidelines for changes regarding specific fellowship programs. The increase in fellowship amount should be implemented from time to time after proper evaluation, for which a suitable mechanism will be introduced by the ministry, added the officials.

The initiative is estimated to cost an additional Rs 750 crore to the exchequer. The decision has been taken as research scientists from top institutes in the country have been requesting for the same. The last hike in scientific research fellowships was implemented in 2010, for around 33%.

Source: The Times of India

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