Non-Net fellowship: ‘Occupy UGC’ movement spreads beyond Capital
The ongoing protest against the scrapping of non-NET fellowship spread from Delhi to other parts of the country on Monday with students holding similar agitations in Kolkata, Pune, Allahabad and Varanasi.
On the 14th Day of the ‘Occupy UGC’ movement, students from JNU, DU, Jamia Millia Islamia and Ambedkar University protested outside the UGC headquarters in Delhi, while those from universities outside the national capital camped outside regional UGC offices.
UGC had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting
held on October 7, citing shortage of resources.
Amidst protests by the students against the scrapping of the non-NET fellowship, the government had last week appointed a five-member panel to review the research grants offered by UGC, which, meanwhile, has been asked to continue all existing grants.
The students, however, have been continuing their protests as they rejected the government’s statement as an “eyewash” and are demanding that the review criterion be changed and the fellowship amount increased.
“The committee is non-committal about extending the fellowship to all state universities or increasing the amount... The Review Committee constituted by the MHRD has members with questionable credentials,” Sucheta De, one of the protesters, said.
“We will not retreat until they agree to continue the fellowship for all newly enrolled students from next academic year. The introduction of any exclusionary criteria such as merit or economic
criteria has to be withdrawn,” she added.