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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Research Scholars go Months Without Stipend, Claim UGC Delays Scholarship Funds

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Once again the PhD and MPhil scholars of various universities have been left in a lurch by the University Grant Commission (UGC), as many failed to receive their JRF scholarship fund this month.

While some scholars believe that it is the pandemic that is causing the delay, others claim that the UGC is out of funds.

Speaking to News18, JNUSU convener (SLL&CS), Adarsh Kumar says that many students from MPhil and PhD have reported to the student body about the delay in funds. “Even my JRF payment has been delayed this month. When we tried to reach the administration about this, it was found that the department itself is dealing with a staff crunch.”

Adarsh also said that for some students the case was different, for instance, one of the scholars did not receive JRF funds, as his bank account was not linked to UGC.

Meanwhile, another PhD scholar from JNU, Sai Balaji says his funds are being delayed as he has to shift his JRF to SRF category. “I am ready to submit all the documents, but we are not allowed to visit our department due to the pandemic. As a result, now, my JRF funds have been halted,” he said.

The case is no different in the University of Delhi as MPhil, PhD scholars across departments await the release of funds. While some students claim to be lucky to have received their JRF, it’s not the same for all.

Delhi University’s Abhishek Kumar says that he has been doing rounds of the campus in order to get his grant initiated. He says “Earlier, I received my JRF grant after nine long months. Since the lockdown, the whole system has been in chaos. Sometimes the fund is auto-generated or we have to go and fill forms to initiate our grant. I have still not received my JRF for this month.”

Adding to that, Abhishek says, the university does not allow students on campus due to the pandemic and on the other hand demands submission of forms, physically. He also claims that it is not the University, but the UGC that is running out of funds while scholars are bearing the brunt of it.

Even scholars from Bengal’s Jadavpur University have raised similar complaints. While many have received their contingency grant, they have been put on the pending list for the JRF funds.

While scholars are struggling to make ends meet and losing sleep over delayed JRF grants, the UGC is yet to respond to News18.

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