The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to do away with the non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to students undertaking research in central universities across India.
The scheme is in place for providing financial assistance to students undertaking MPhil and PhD — they are provided ` 5,000 and ` 8,000 per month respectively. PhD students get assistance for four years and MPhil students for 18 months. They also get a contingency amount per year to help them carry out their research.
The fellowship will not be available to students enrolling from the new academic year, officials said.
Confirming the move, UGC chairman Ved Prakash said a decision was taken in the last meeting of the commission.
“We were getting a lot of complaints about the fellowship, so we have decided to do away with it. However, NET fellowship will be in place, so anyone who clears the test will get financial assistance,” he said.
The issue of discontinuing non-Net fellowship was discussed in the last meeting of the commission.
“Considered and resolved to discontinue the scheme. However, the students who are already getting non-NET fellowship will continue to do so as per the existing guidelines,” state the minutes of the commission’s last meeting, held on October 7.
Officials said each department of the university has a certain ceiling on the number of students who can be provided fellowship, funds for which are provided by UGC that falls under the HRD ministry. However, no data is readily available on the number of students. Students are required to apply to the university to avail the benefits.