With the University Grants Commission not releasing Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) and Senior Research Fellowships (SRF) since July, members of the Students Federation of India (SFI) on Friday demanded that the scholarships be released immediately.
They said that thousands of research scholars have been going through the worst crisis in their lives without access to campus facilities and hostels and not distributing scholarship is just adding fuel to fire.
“While the pandemic has paralysed the lives of almost everyone in the country, the central government continues to make it worse with anti-people actions and policies, one after another. It is highly condemnable that the researchers are denied their fellowships for more than four months now,” said RL Murthy, state president, SFI and research scholar, Osmania University.
They said that fellowships are essential for many to carry out their research activities and for some to survive during the pandemic. “Research scholars, many of whom left a job and pursued research with the help of fellowship, are now in distress, especially because of the hardship and financial crisis during the Covid-19 period,” he added.
SFI demanded immediate disbursal of UGC fellowships and urged the Centre to maintain a system to ensure timely disbursal of the fellowships.
“Thousands of students hailing from socially and economically deprived backgrounds were denied entry to research due to this rampant seat cut in recent years. Now the withholding of fellowships has virtually displayed exit points to those bright, economically backward students who were already continuing their research work breaking glass ceilings and now struggling with the financial back up denied to them,” said T Nagaraju, general secretary, SFI Telangana.
The federation appealed to students to raise their voice for the research scholars who are denied justice by sending letters to the Union education minister and also to take part in the social media campaign demanding the disbursal of fellowships.
Content Source – TOI