Meritorious science and technology graduates from any university in the country will now be able to apply for a Centre-sponsored special fellowship to pursue M Tech or PhD.

The human resource development (HRD) ministry has decided to expand the scope of the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) scheme to allow meritorious students from all higher education institutions avail its benefit.

“The decision was taken in view of the growing demand from the students and suggestions from various stakeholders,” the ministry sources said.

The ministry will soon issue a notification in this regard.

Centrally-fund colleges

The Centre launched the scheme in February this year to attract more engineering graduates from the centrally-funded institutions to pursue MTech or PhD programmes to boost research.

The scheme also aims at producing qualified teachers to meet the shortage of faculty members being faced by the higher educational institutions in the country.

Under the PMRF scheme, a student gets the fellowship of Rs 70,000 per month for the first two years, Rs 75,000 per month for the third year and Rs 80,000 per month in the fourth and fifth year of their programme.

Apart from this, a research grant of Rs 2.00 lakh per year is also provided to each of the fellows selected under the scheme for a period of five years to cover their academic contingency expenses and “for foreign/national travel expenses”.

The special scholarship scheme provides for “rigorous review” of the performance of fellows. The continuation of the next year’s fellowship depends on the outcome of the review of the students’ performance.

A maximum of 3,000 fellows would be selected for a three-year period, beginning 2018-19.

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