Maulana Azad Fellowship scrapped: students protest

Launched in 2009, the fellowship provided financial assistance for five years to students from six notified minority communities

December 13, 2022 01:44 am | Updated 01:44 am IST - New Delhi

Protesting students from various universities in the Capital, who are demanding restoration of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship, being detained by the police on Monday.

Protesting students from various universities in the Capital, who are demanding restoration of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship, being detained by the police on Monday. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Students on Monday staged a protest outside Shastri Bhawan against the discontinuation of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MAF) for minority community students.

Launched in 2009, the fellowship provided financial assistance for five years to students from six notified minority communities — Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs — to pursue M.Phil and Ph.D.

The students said the discontinuation of the fellowship spells disaster for their aspirations and disenfranchises the already marginalised students from minority sections.

The All India Students’ Association (AISA) made an appeal to “student bodies and other democratic forces of the country to strengthen and defeat the BJP’s attempts to make education a privilege for the few while denying the majority access to education and social mobility”.

The JNU Teachers’ Association, reacting to the Ministry of Minority Affairs’ decision to withdraw the MAF, said ,“This policy decision to withdraw a fellowship intended to promote higher education among minority communities is an attack on the values of inclusivity and democracy that are integral to the higher education system that India requires.”

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