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Government hikes fellowships, research fellows now entitled to HRA

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The Central Government has enhanced the fellowship of Ph.D. students and other researchers in any area of science and technology, including Physical and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmacy.  
 
Union Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said PhD. scholars, working in science and technology, are the most significant contributors to the knowledge base of the country for its industrial competitiveness, academic vibrancy and technology led innovations.
 
Emphasizing on the commitment of the government, Dr Vardhan said that improving the value of Ph.D. research cannot be a one-time exercise but requires constant input and efforts which the Government is fully committed to undertake.
 
The hike in fellowship will directly benefit over 60,000 Research Fellows and also provide a template to the States to consider an increase in their fellowship rates, an official press release said.
 
Fellowship of the Junior Research Fellows in the first two years of Ph.D. programme has been increased from the current rate of Rs 25,000 to Rs 31,000 per month. Similarly, in the remaining tenure of Ph.D., Senior Research Fellows will get Rs 35,000 per month instead of the present Rs 28,000 per month, it said.
 
Further, there is substantial 30-35% enhancement in the financial rewards for the scientists involved in the R&D projects as Research Associates. The top bracket of Research Associateship is fixed at Rs 54,000.  All the research fellows are also entitled to house rent allowance (HRA) as per Central Government norms, the release said.
 
This empowering mechanism is uniformly applicable across all the fellowship granting Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Academic and Government R&D Organizations of the country. 
 
For the first time, the Government has also recommended a set of strong financial and academic incentives to enhance and recognize the performance of research fellows.  This will be a performance-based addition to the fellowship.  
 
An Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee has been constituted to periodically examine all the fellowship matters that have a bearing on enhancing the value, quality and experience of doctoral research, including the quantum of fellowship.  
 
One of the recommendations is to involve Ph.D. students in undergraduate teaching and managing research infrastructure during their doctoral research. This will not only widen their scope of training but also enhance their career prospects, the release added.
 
NNN

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