Delayed disbursement of fellowship a rights violation: Disabled scholars

The University Grants Commission office.

The University Grants Commission office.

An association of scholars selected for the National Fellowship for Persons with Disabilities (NFPwD) has termed the delay in disbursement of fellowships a violation of the fundamental Right to Equality.

In a letter to Social Justice Minister Virendra Kumar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and University Grants Commission Chairperson Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, as well as officers of the ministries and UGC, the NFPwD Scholars Association on August 5, said the PhD scholars had applied in December 2020 and the UGC announced results in January 2022.

In the letter, the association wrote: “The UGC took more than a year to process the applications and release the result. After the announcement of the result, a lot of selected candidates have submitted the required documents to Canara Bank. Yet, their fellowships have not been disbursed.”

The Hindu had reported on August 6 that the national fellowships for PwD as well as for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes Ph.D scholars, all under the Social Justice Ministry, have not been disbursed since April, after a change in rules for flow of funds by the Finance Ministry in March.

Depression and helplessness

The association said the delay had led to issues of “depression and helplessness” for some scholars and had left many of them unable to focus on their research. It added that the impediment was not only for the 2020-2021 batch, but also for the preceding batches of scholars, as well.

“Such a long delay also violates the fundamental right to equality (since the delay is much longer in NFPwD vis-a-vis other comparable fellowships) and to life with dignity,” the letter said.

The association asked the Ministers and officials to intervene in the matter and disburse the fellowships immediately.

“The UGC took more than a year to process the applications and release the result”Letter to Social Justice Minister

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 11:39:53 pm |