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An Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee to Incentivise Quality of Research in the Country

Newdelhi;31/1/19:The Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change Dr. Harsh Vardhan in a statement released today expressed happiness that for the first time, the Government has also recommended a set of strong financial and academic incentives to enhance and recognize the performance of our research fellows. Science & Technology is a fast moving area in which a dynamic and holistic vision is required to secure the future of the nation and this will be a performance based addition to the enhanced fellowship, the minister added.

Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi today, the Secretary Department of Science &Technology(DST), Prof. Ashutosh Sharma said that an Empowered Inter-Ministerial committee is to examine all the fellowship matters that have a bearing on enhancing the value, quality and experience of doctoral research, including the quantum of fellowship, which will not only widen the scope of training but also enhance the career prospects of research fellows.  The current hike announced yesterday will also be reviewed periodically, possibly annually, which is to be decided, by the empowered group that is being set up, added the Secretary. He said there are various schemes to promote global exchange of researchers, including the Scheme called ‘VAJRA’-Visiting Advanced Joint ResearchFaculty Scheme. VAJRA is a dedicated program exclusively for overseas scientists and academicians with emphasis on Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) / Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to work as adjunct / visiting faculty for a specific period of time in Indian Public funded academic and research institutions. The Scheme recognizes the value of collaborative research as a crucial element for information sharing among researchers for updating and acquiring knowledge and skills, and also to draw different perspectives to solve a shared problem.

Joining him the Secretary Department of Biotechnology (DST) Dr. Renu Swarup and the Director General, CSIR and Secretary Department of Scientific & Industrial Research Dr. Shekhar C. Mande said the research fellowship is not a salary in career but is in the form of stipend while they are still in a career path which could lead to a great progress. They said there are several schemes now for researchers to go in for start-ups etc.

The government yesterday announced that, the fellowship of Ph.D students and other research personnel enrolled in any area of science and technology, including Physical and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences, Pharmacy etc.  has been enhanced with effect from January 1, 2019.

The hike in fellowship will directly benefit over 60,000 Research Fellows and also provide a template to the States to consider increase in their fellowship rates. Fellowship of the Junior Research Fellows in the first two years of Ph.D programme is increased from the current rate of Rs.25,000/- to Rs.31,000/- per month. Similarly, in the remaining tenure of Ph.D, Senior Research Fellow will get Rs. 35,000/- per month instead of the present Rs.28,000/- per month.

Further, there is substantial 30-35% enhancement in the financial rewards for the scientists involved in the R&D projects as Research Associates.The top bracket of Research Associateship is fixed at Rs.54,000/-.  All the research fellows are also entitled to HRA as per Central Government norms.

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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