Since December 2022, PhD students and research associates all throughout India have been awaiting word from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) regarding an increase in fellowship. However, their patience has been in vain, which has caused anger among researchers across the country.
In August 2022, the All India Research Scholars Association (AIRSA) wrote to DST officials and demanded an immediate increase in scholarship. However, DST hasn’t responded to anything regarding this.
As a result, students have begun staging new waves of protests, starting at Jawaharlal Nehru University and IIT Delhi.
The issue of the raise in fellowship is of the utmost importance and is currently the top priority for the department, according to a recent update from DST on Twitter. DST added that they are attempting to resolve the issue and will make an announcement shortly.
However, academics are asking for a specific update on the percentage increases for research researchers.
In a letter from August 2022, AIRSA demanded that fellowship rates be changed automatically every four years.
This demand is a result of the nation’s inflation and rising living expenses. Since then, academics have been waiting for a practical answer.
The increase in the fellowship stipend for research researchers funded by DST was announced by the government in 2018.
According to the announcement, junior research fellowship (JRF) and senior research fellowship (SRF) recipients would each receive a 24 percent rise. For research associates, the increase ranged from 28.5 to 25%.
2019 saw the implementation of these measures following a nationwide student walkout. However, professors have requested an adjustment to their stipends due to inflation and increased everyday costs.