Education Ministry increases stipends for PhD students and Scholars

  • Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Senior Research Fellowship (SRF), and Research Associates will receive hikes that will be valid from January 1, 2023

The Education Ministry has announced an increase in stipends for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Senior Research Fellowship (SRF), and Research Associates. This comes as a major relief to PhD students and scholars across the country. The announcement was made on the ministry’s official page on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Under the revised fellowship stipend schedule, the JRF stipend has been increased to Rs 37,000 from Rs 31,000. Similarly, the SRF stipend has been raised to Rs 42,000 from Rs 35,000. Research Associates will also benefit from this adjustment, with Research Associate-I set to receive Rs 58,000, Research Associate-II Rs 61,000, and Research Associate-III Rs 67,000. This revised fellowship framework will necessitate an additional expenditure of approximately Rs 725 crore from the government.

The increase in monthly emoluments for researchers at higher education institutes will be effective from January 1, 2023. This hike has been long advocated for by the All-India Research Scholars Association (AIRSA) and is expected to revitalise the research and development ecosystem, according to a report by NDTV.

The decision by the ministry follows sustained protests from PhD students and research associates, with demonstrations taking place at academic institutions such as IIT Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) had previously acknowledged that increasing the fellowship was a top priority and reassured students that the matter was under active consideration.

Responding to the ministry’s announcement, AIRSA emphasised not just the need for patience but also highlighted the critical importance of proper infrastructure for nurturing research innovations. They underlined the need to discuss all related issues face-to-face during meetings with scholars, reflecting the multifaceted nature of their demands.

The Ministry of Education’s support for the academic community is likely to play a significant role in promoting a high-quality research ecosystem in India. The ministry stated in its post, “This will provide a significant boost to the research and development ecosystem and will facilitate researchers.”

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