Research rule anger at UGC

Students interested in pursuing research in universities on Monday accused the University Grants Commission of denying those from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity through its "arbitrary" admission policy.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 14.08.18
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New Delhi: Students interested in pursuing research in universities on Monday accused the University Grants Commission of denying those from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity through its "arbitrary" admission policy.

Aspiring researchers who want to enrol in Delhi-based universities protested in front of the UGC office demanding withdrawal of the MPhil/PhD admission policy of 2016.

They allege that the policy was aimed at denying non-NET (National Eligibility Test) fellowship to students.

"The poor students depend on non-NET fellowship to pursue research. The government and the UGC tried to discontinue the fellowship in 2015. Following student protests, the decision was put on hold. Now they want to deny students the fellowship through this arbitrary admission policy," Sachin Dev, who wants to do his MPhil in history from DU, said.

Students who clear the NET with a high score get Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). Those who don't figure in the JRF category can apply for non-NET fellowships in central universities that conduct entrance tests.

Under the non-NET fellowship, MPhil students get Rs 5,000 a month each and PhD students Rs 8,000.

In 2016, the UGC came up with revised MPhil/PhD guidelines. The policy has three contentious provisions. It wants every aspiring researcher, irrespective of social background, including caste, to secure 50 per cent marks in the entrance test to qualify for interviews, the sole determinant for selection. It also puts a limit on the number of students a teacher can supervise.

UGC chairman D.P. Singh said the HRD ministry was examining the regulations.