With a vision to stop India’s best brains from taking up scholarships for frontier research abroad, the Union Cabinet has approved the PM Research Fellowships (PMRF) for students of higher education institutions like the IITs, IISERs and NITs, which will also be the country’s most lavish paid scholarships to date.
And in another incentive for engineering graduates who want to pursue research, BTech graduates from IITs, IISERs, IIITs or NITs shortlisted for the PMRF will be eligible to directly pursue PhD at IITs or IISc, Bengaluru.
The PMRF includes monthly scholarships of Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 and annual research grants of Rs 2 lakh for select scholars. The Centre has approved an allocation of Rs 1,650 crore for these fellows to be spent over three years.
Apart from 1,000 annual scholarships under the scheme, the government is also planning to upgrade research facilities at the IITs and IISc. Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said the scheme, announced in the Budget and approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, will pave the way for BTech graduates or graduates from integrated-MTech or MSc in science and technology streams to be offered “direct admission in PhD programme at the IITs/ IISc”.
“The scheme will go a long way in tapping the talent pool of the country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains,” Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Research under the scheme will address our national priorities at the one hand and shortage of quality faculty in premier educational institutions of the country on the other. It will help convert brain drain into brain gain,” he said.
The minimum eligibility for aspirants will be a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 8.5. The minister said that the scheme will be rolled out from the 2018-19 academic session.