HRD Ministry Appoints Review Committee To Look Into Non-NET, NET Fellowships

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to set up a review committee to go into issues related to the research fellowships provided by the UGC, covering both NET and non-NET fellowships. The committee will submit its report to the ministry within December 2015.

For over two decades, the All India National Eligibility Test (NET), a competitive examination conducted twice a year by the University Grants Commission has been the basis for the research fellowships.

The non-NET Fellowship Scheme was introduced by the UGC in 2006. It is presently limited only to 50 institutions including central universities and those with potential for excellence. Almost 35,000 students are presently availing of these Fellowships.

From December 2014, the HRD Ministry has enhanced the support provided to research fellowships based on the NET.

Junior research fellows will receive, Rs 25,000 per month for the first two years and 30 per cent House Rent Allowance (HRA) as well as a contingency grant for each year. Senior research fellows will receive, Rs 28,000 per month for the next three years and 30 per cent HRA and a contingency grant for each year.

The government has decided to establish a review committee to go into the issues related to the research fellowships provided by the UGC, covering both NET and Non-NET fellowships. The review committee will submit its report to the ministry within December 2015.

The issues with the committee are, the feasibility of enhancing the number of NET fellowships, which are merit based, establishing a transparent system of transfer of fellowship amounts each month to the Non-NET fellows, which is presently being done on a reimbursement basis, and without the direct benefit transfer mandated by the government, bringing the benefits and opportunities of the non-NET fellowship scheme to a larger number of universities, including state universities, considering economic and other criteria for eligibility for non-NET fellowships, recommending guidelines for the selection, coverage, award, and administration of the non-NET fellowships.

Irrespective of the recommendations of the review committee, all existing and continuing fellowships, NET and non-NET will continue without any change.

News Courtesy: BusinessWorld

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