Home >Education >News >Research stipends hiked by over 50%
With immediate effect, a hike of up to Rs22,000 per month will be applied to fellowships across the country, said Jitendra Singh, minister of state for science and technology. Photo: Hindustan Times
With immediate effect, a hike of up to Rs22,000 per month will be applied to fellowships across the country, said Jitendra Singh, minister of state for science and technology. Photo: Hindustan Times

Research stipends hiked by over 50%

Move to benefit at least 70,000 scientists in the country

New Delhi: In a move that will benefit at least 70,000 scientists in the country, the department of science and technology (DST) on Tuesday said research scholars across the spectrum will receive at least a 50% hike in stipend effective 1 October.

The announcement came after the finance ministry discussed budgetary implications of the increase recommended by an inter-ministerial meeting after demands from researchers. “After seeing protests from research scholars across the country, we decided there should be a mechanism to review the honorarium that these research fellows receive," said Jitendra Singh, minister of state for science and technology. “With immediate effect, a hike of up to 22,000 (per month) will be applied to fellowships across the country. This is excluding perks such as HRA (house rent allowance), maternity leave, and medical (reimbursements)."

Singh told reporters that the monthly honorarium for research associate-III had been hiked to 46,000 from 24,000; for research associate-II to 42,000 from 23,000 and for research associate-I to 38,000 from 22,000. Senior research fellows’ stipends will be raised to 30,000 from 18,000 and that for junior research fellows to 25,000 from 16,000.

“We will be institutionalizing the periodic review and the periodicity has to be worked out. So their demands can be met. I hope the disbursement will be done fast," Singh said.

A hike in scientific research fellowships was last announced in 2010—around 33%.

“Till now, 1,663 crore was being spent on the fellowships of research scholars. Now there will be an additional requirement for 750 crore," said R. Brakaspathy, senior scientist and advisor, DST. Singh also issued directions to DST to establish a web-based fellowship assessment and disbursement mechanism so that delays in payment could be avoided.

“This is a welcome move and will make research fellows happy. Salaries for all government employees have been increased, it’s only fair that this should apply to the fellows also," said Thangaraj Kumaraswamy, a senior scientist at Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Indian scientists have not been the only ones protesting the low honorariums in research fellowships. There have been growing protests in Europe, with scientists taking to the streets to protest cuts in research funding and pay. While Spanish scientists protested about the continued cuts in research, especially after the closure of the science ministry in 2011, demonstrations took place in France as scientists protested against research cuts. Countries like Italy, Greece and Portugal have also faced massive budget cuts in research funds due to austerity measures put in place by the European Commission.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Click here to read the Mint ePapermint is now on Telegram. Join mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated

Close
×
My Reads Redeem a Gift Card Logout