Hike in remuneration for different fellowships offered by central research councils

If you are under the impression that research in social sciences is a laborious and less rewarding job, it is time to change this perception. Thanks to the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for strengthening research activities in social sciences, the remuneration for different fellowships offered by the central research councils has seen a handsome hike.

Henceforth, students can seriously think of applying for the fellowships offered by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). The revised scheme has enhanced the fellowship amount by more than three-folds of the existing package. It has also brought smiles on the faces of students who are serious about taking up research in social sciences.

On a par with UGC

ICHR member secretary Ishrat Alam told The Hindu that the revised scheme places the remuneration package of the fellowships on a par with those offered by the University Grants Commission (UGC). He thanked the Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal for bringing about change after a long wait of 12 years.

Accordingly, the Junior Research Fellows (JFR) will receive Rs. 16,000 per month along with Rs. 15,000 contingency amount per annum. The General Fellowship offers Rs. 28,000 per month and Rs. 20,000 contingency amount per annum.

The remuneration package of the Senior Fellowship has been pegged at Rs. 40,000 per month and Rs. 40,000 contingency amount per annum. Likewise, the National Fellowship offers a remuneration package of Rs. 55,000 per month with the contingency amount of Rs. 60,000 per annum. The new scheme is applicable from June 1 this year, and all the candidates applying from this academic year will benefit.

There had been a steep decline in the number of applications for research over the years mainly due to meagre remuneration package. The revised package would attract researchers of high quality, Prof. Alam said.

Moreover, the HRD Ministry has taken one more significant step by bestowing upon the councils the power of timely revision of the remuneration package. The notification said the ICHR shall, subject to approval of respective governing bodies/councils, revise automatically the rate of the fellowships and contingency by 10 per cent on increase of Dearness Allowance (DA) in respect of Central Government employees by 50 per cent rather than seeking the approval of the Government for revising the rate of fellowships. For this purpose, the base year should be taken as the date of effectiveness of the proposed revised rates of fellowships, i.e. June 1, 2012.

Restrictions

Making some changes in the terms and conditions of the fellowship, it has been decided that the term would be strictly two years and it can be extended for a maximum of one year under special circumstances.

Also, a fellow has been barred from accepting fellowship from any other organisation and would not be permitted to hold any further fellowship from the same council of research in a span of five years from the date of acceptance of a fellowship from that particular council.