DST’s decision to scrap KVPY disappoints teachers, aspirants in government schools

July 27, 2022 09:23 pm | Updated 09:23 pm IST

TIRUCHI The decision of Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, to scrap Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojna (KVPY) fellowship from this year has caused disappointment among school teachers who were keenly anticipating its conduct in Tamil for the convenience of the students following the Supreme Court's intervention last year.

Till last year, the exam was conducted only in English and Hindi. The Supreme Court had, last year, ordered the Central Government to conduct the national science aptitude test under the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojna (KVPY) fellowship in 13 regional languages, in consonance with an earlier order passed by the Madras High Court, following a Public Interest Litigation.

Launched under the Vajpayee Government in 1999, the KVPY fellowship being a one-of-its-kind initiative by the Department of Science and Technology to spot talent in Science and encourage scientific minds to undertake research in the country, top score in this exam was was hitherto the gateway for admissions into IISc entitling the selected students to attractive monthly scholarships all through their UG and PG levels in addition to incidental expenses.

The DST’s position that KVPY has been subsumed by INSPIRE (Innovation in Scientific Pursuit for Inspired Research) scholarship has not convinced the teachers and aspirants since unlike the KVPY that fulfils research aspirations of learners till pre-Ph.D, the beneficiaries under INSPIRE fellowship are limited: only 1,000 fellows are selected every year for the scholarship granted beyond PG level.

The only solace is that the ongoing KVPY fellows will continue to receive fellowship as per norms from DST.

"Scrapping of the KVPY at a juncture when there were possibilities for bright students in government schools to crack it in Tamil is unjustified. Language must not be a barrier for students eager for high-end scientific pursuits," S. Sivakumar, former Principal of District Institute of Education and Training, Kancheepuram, said.

"At a time when there were expectations that the DST will also come forward to cut down the fee (₹1,250 and ₹625 for SC/ST/PH/Pwd) in the interests of students of high intelligent quotient from economically poor background, the scrapping of KVPY is highly disappointing," Mr. Sivakumar said.

While engineering aspirants make it to IITs and NITs through JEE-Mains and JEE-Advanced, the IISc has all along been the preferred institution for study for the candidates cracking the KVPY and taking up basic science courses like BSc, BS, B Stat, B Math, Integrated MSc, and Integrated MS. The KVPY exam was typically held in November and used to be taken for two years in a row, in Classes XI and XII or during the first year of any undergraduate program in basic science.

The KVPY test was also used by some top institutes like Indian Institute of Science IISc and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) for admission to UG and UG, PG integrated courses. The DST must reconsider its decision to scrap it," a principal of a CBSE school in Tiruchi said.

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