The most controversial topic in Research Trends is about the increase in fellowship for PhD research scholars. The research scholars are unhappy with funding amount and want government to take necessary measures to increase the fellowship for PhD students. This controversial discussion in the country, is making the decision of pursuing PhD weak for upcoming youth of today. Aspirants say that the inflation rate is increasing since 2008 and the fellowship amount given by UGC NET and CSIR NET is stagnant.
Why Increase in Fellowship?
Although, it was great move to increase the MHRD fellowship for engineering aspirants to pursue M Tech and PhD, but then, there are lot of basic amenities like proper seating, personal computers, funds to procure lab set ups, Legal software for validation of work and many more which are left unresolved due to lack of funds. Event yearly contingency is too low which is given against bills only. There are many rules which one should follow before making travel plans like 1AC and 2AC tickets not allowed, Hotels not allowed, UBER or OLA not allowed etc. The bachelor PhD scholar have to stay in PG hostel and those who are married have wait for more than an year to get the transit accommodation meant for PhD scholars due to limited availability of the same. The scholars are discouraged to attend overseas conferences. A PhD student should be able to live as good a life as a person who gets into IT. Until standards of living are not increased, no one will stay in reality. Funding in research much be extreme. Obviously universities should demand from students but if the financial resources are weak , it is useless. This is the main reason due to which Indian government is promoting brain drain.
Why PMRF is not Enough?
The PMRF is the research fellowship which is given to aspirants who wish to pursue PhD and Research from CFTI like IIT and NIT. It is eligible for only those candidates who are from CFTI and even if the eligibility is diluted for other state government institute candidates, in interview, the candidates from central institutes are considered for selection for higher education. The question is that the CFTI’s already have funding in hundreds of crores of rupees for research, are they still under financial crises that they need money for this? Top tier companies like Google, Microsoft, TATA are funding research scholars in IIT’s, do they still need money for funding?
It just signifies that the Indian government is trying to feed the richest and the most satiated body.
There was one TCS representative in one state government university who was asked “Why do you sponsor only IITs and NITs in terms of research work?” The guy replied to this question “Because they are doing the best research in India”. But the question is how will you decide the level of research? Can you compare research? Do think research work can be compared? And in yes, in terms of what?
What is Best Research?
The organization which have resource persons who can publish many research papers in SCI/ SSCI indexed journals and Core ranked conferences are said to have good research. The number of citations and h-index of every candidate and resource person should be high. Number of PhD passouts and much more. Are we sure that IITs and NITs have high number of research paper and other institutes do not have so? The level of research is improving day by day in many central and state government institutes, even those which are ignore by government for increase in fellowship. The government reserves right to make increase in fellowship or make it stagnant. But is it promoting higher education in India? Are we really improving the state of higher education and research in India?
Why do some institutes have low core conference publications?
This could be due to low amount of UGC fellowship for PhD students. This may be due to non-availability of funds with organization to visit and represent research paper at conference. Isn’t it a gap? Isn’t it demotivating candidates?
Affects of Non- Increase in Fellowship?
People are well aware of the fact that these days research is playing pivotal role in any domain. Huge number of talented candidates are keen to pursue research but there are many aspirants who have secured great ranks in national level examination like GATE, CSIR NET, UGC NET and still do not want to pursue research because they have very hard life with such a low amount of UGC fellowship. People are moving overseas to pursue research and if they go out, and pursue research, they certainly find good and easy lifestyle. They would surely serve them instead of wasting time and energy in this country. Incredible India has many resources and very rich culture and heritage but it is useless if it is not streamed in right direction. People are still facing many issues like not being able to acquire basic amenities after taking admission in PhD, not being able to present research work at international level which is right of every candidate. This is the prime responsibility of every country to provide them resources if people are doing research and making their country to feel proud. Several years ago, many researchers like Aryabhatta and more discovered several things but were not recognized because people and system of India could not promote inventions. And the system is counting in current scenario as well.
There are still single digit noble laureates in the population of 133 crores despite of being among one of the most talented nation in the world. Why? Because of THE SYSTEM!!!
Should Increase in Fellowship Blindfold?
The increase in fellowship is certainly not blindfold. This should have some system and some milestones. The foremost reason is that the country would have either Reserved or Deserved. Blindfold every such candidate who belong to non-general category gets fellowship. Many people get into PhD just to get daily bread and butter. This makes them lazy. Even otherwise in general category, once you obtain JRF, it is easy for you to enter into PhD and spend 5 years doing nothing and earning UGC fellowship. The solution to this obvious scholarship is to keep a check over the progress of research scholars. The minimum UGC fellowship should be given to all PhD students but increase in fellowship should be given to only those who deserve. The minimum criteria should be kept in terms of number of research papers or number of citations etc., this way one can apply for increase in fellowship after he/ she achieve this minimum criteria. This could be solution to the problem of distinguishing lazy PhD candidates from those of deserving candidates for increase in fellowship.