The University Grants Commission’s explanation for the withdrawal of fellowships to students who have not cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) is that the scheme, in the present form, is “not transparent” and “ without equity.”
In response to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s query why the scheme was altered, the UGC on Friday defended its decision by pointing out that it was attempting to “streamline” the disbursal of funds.
Amid growing protests from students and academics against the decision that will see scholars not having cleared the NET lose out on Rs. 5,000 a month from next year, the UGC has told the Ministry that it wants to “expand” the scope of the scheme.
“The UGC has informed the Ministry that it wants to expand the scheme which is applicable now only at Central universities and, after consultations with the States, introduce it at all State universities as well,” said a source in the Ministry.
On why non-NET scholars are being deprived of financial assistance, the UGC has said the disbursement of funds is now controlled by the universities, and there are no mechanisms for the UGC to verify whether the money is actually being received by the beneficiaries.