The University Grants Commission (UGC) has revised the guidelines for award of fellowship to Scheduled Caste students under the National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste Students (NFSC).
As per a notice issued by the higher education regulatory, the revised guidelines for award of fellowship to SC students for higher education will be effective retrospectively from November 25, 2021.
Launched during the 2005-06 financial year, the objective of the scheme is to provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance to students belonging to SC category to pursue higher studies leading to M.Phil/Ph.D in Science, Humanities and Social Science in Indian Universities/Institutions/Colleges recognised by the UGC.
The scheme provides for 2000 new 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 National Eligibility Test-Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) and UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (UGC-CSIR) NET-JRF joint test).
Fellowships shall be awarded to candidates for pursuing regular and full time M.Phil./Ph.D. courses in universities/Research Institutions recognized by UCC.
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 issue of the JRF award letter.
The duration of the fellow is two years for M.Phil and 5 years for Ph.D. While the fellowship amount is Rs 31,000 for initial two years (Junior Research Fellow Ship (JRF)), it is Rs 35,000 for the remaining three years (Senior Research Fellowship) along with other allowances.