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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released guidelines for governing the award of fellowship to Scheduled Caste students.

The National Fellowship scheme for Scheduled Caste Students, a Central Sector Scheme was introduced during the financial year 2005-06 to provide opportunities to Scheduled Castes students for pursuing higher education leading to M.Phil/Ph.D degrees in Sciences, Humanities and Social Science streams.

Here are more details:

Scope of the scheme- The scheme provides for new 2000 fellowships (1500 Junior Research Fellows for Humanities/ Social Sciences and 500 Junior Research Fellows for Science stream) per year to such Scheduled Caste students to undertake advanced studies and research leading to M.Phil/ Ph.D Degrees, who have qualified in the following tests:

i) National Eligibility Test- Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) of UGC or

ii) UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (UGC-CSIR) NET–JRF joint test.)

The scheme covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as under :
a. Central/State Universities (including constituent and affiliated institutions) included under Section 2(f) of UGC Act,1956 and having valid accreditation from NAAC.

b. Deemed Universities under Section 3 of UGC Act i.e. Institution for higher education notified by Central Government to be deemed University, in consultation with UGC and having and having valid accreditation from NAAC.

c. Institution fully funded by State/ Central Government and empowered to award degrees.

d. Institutions of National Importance as notified by Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Eligibility:

(i) Fellowships shall be awarded to candidates for pursuing regular and full time M.Phil./Ph.D. courses in Universities/Research Institutions recognized by UGC.

(ii) Scheduled Castes candidates who have already secured admission and qualify NET examination will be given preference. Such candidates will be required to join the fellowship within 3 months of the issue of the JRF award letter.

(iii) In case sufficient candidates, who have already secured admission are not available, candidates who have not yet secured admission will also be selected in the order of merit in the NET examination.

Such candidates will be eligible to receive fellowship under National Fellowship for SC scheme, subject to admission for M.Phil./Ph.D in Universities/IITs/ Institutions. The validity period of the offer is three years w.e.f. the date of issue of the JRF Award letter under the Scheme.

A scholar is eligible to receive only one fellowship at a time. The scholar is required to declare that he/she will not accept/receive any other monetary benefit/scholarship/fellowship from any other source. In other words, a scholar who is awarded fellowship under this scheme shall not accept any other fellowship/scholarship or hold any appointment, paid or otherwise, or receive any emoluments, salary, stipend etc. from any other source during the tenure of the award (except in case of ‘academic leave’ of one year).

In case, a scholar is already in receipt of any scholarship/fellowship, he/she will have to relinquish either the previous scholarship/fellowship/any other monetary benefit or to forgo the selection under this scheme.

A scholar who does not complete his/her research work during the period of fellowship shall not be eligible to apply again under this scheme. Similarly, a scholar who has completely or partially availed any of these fellowship for Ph.D. earlier shall also not be eligible for fellowship under this schemes.

(iv) After two years of joining JRF, if the progress in the research work of the awardee is found satisfactory, his/her tenure will be extended for a further period of three years as Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) as per UGC Fellowship Guidelines issued from time to time in case of students enrolled for Ph.D or M.Phil.+ Ph.D.

(v) With regard to combined course of M.Phil and Ph.D., Fellowship will be provided initially for 02 years for M.Phil and after upgradation to Ph.D course, for another 3 years.

(vi) The fellowship shall be paid from date of issue of JRF award letter under the Scheme for National Fellowship or date of joining of the M.Phil./Ph.D., whichever is later.

(vii) In case of integrated Ph.D. or M.Phil. to Ph.D., the maximum tenure is 5 years including M.Phil. period of fellowship. For doing M.Phil., fellowship shall be granted for two years or upto the date of submission of M.Phil. dissertation, whichever is earlier.

(viii) The maximum allowed gap period for continuation from M.Phil. to Ph.D. under this scheme shall be 2 years (from the date of declaration of result of M.Phil to date of admission to Ph.D.).

However, the total tenure of fellowship shall remain five years excluding the gap period. No fellowship shall be paid during the gap period.

(ix) The fellowship shall be granted up to the date of submission of Ph.D. thesis or five years of tenure, whichever is earlier. No extension is permissible beyond the total period of five years of fellowship.

(x) Employees of any University/ College/ Educational Institution/ Central/ State/ UT Government shall be excluded from availing Fellowship, even if they are on Study Leave or Extra Ordinary Leave to pursue the M.Phil./Ph.D. course.

Visit the official UGC website- www. Ugc.ac.in for details on duration of fellowship, rate of fellowship and other facilities.

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