UGC to disburse fellowships till September 30

The National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities was also held up.  

The National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities was also held up.  

After intervention by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) last week, sources said it had been decided that the University Grants Commission (UGC) would disburse the national fellowships of the Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities Affairs Ministries that have been pending since April, but only till September 30.

The UGC had told the Ministries to disburse the fellowships for M.Phil and Ph.D scholars on their own, after the Finance Ministry changed the rules for flow of funds for Central sector schemes in March. According to the new rules, a Central Nodal Agency would have to be appointed or the Ministry in question could directly transfer the funds into the beneficiaries’ accounts. Before that, the Ministries would send the funds to the UGC to disburse.

The Hindu had reported on August 6 that the thousands of scholars under the National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities (NFPwD), National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste (NFSC) and National Fellowship for Other Backward Classes (NFOBC) had not received their fellowships since April, after the change in rules by the Finance Ministry. The Maulana Azad National Fellowship of the Minorities Affairs Ministry, too, has been held up.

According to sources aware of the development, a meeting was held by the Prime Ministers Office, where Social Justice Ministry officials were present, on August 12 to address the backlog and it was decided that the UGC would continue to disburse the fellowships under the NFOBC, NFSC, NFPwD and MANF till September 30. After that, the respective Ministries would have to come up with their own mechanism to disburse the fellowships.

R. Subrahmanyam, secretary of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department under the Social Justice Ministry, told The Hindu that the Ministry’s own alternative mechanism for disbursing the fellowships would start from September.

As recently as August 3, the UGC had written to the Social Justice Ministry denying its request for an exemption from the new rules till September and saying the Ministry should disburse the fellowships “at their end only”.

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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 7:43:52 am |