ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Woes of Research Scholars in India

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Two seemingly disparate incidents from certain higher educational institutions in India have come to light recently that reflect a rather sordid picture of the state of research scholars in India. A 29-year-old PhD student allegedly died by suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. This is the third instance of a student suicide at IIT Kanpur in the last one month. What is even more alarming is that the PhD student took this tragic step just around 20 days after she enrolled at this institute.

In Maharashtra, hundreds of Scheduled Caste (SC) PhD students enrolled in a prominent Pune-based research institution have been protesting for over 100 days against the non-payment of their research fellowship since 2021. This research institution comes under the social justice and special assistance department of the state government. However, the state administration has cited a lack of funds for this particular institution and introduced an arbitrary rule in October 2023 which made only 200 out of 861 admitted PhD students eligible for availing the institutional research fellowship. The PhD students of the 2021 and 2022 batches are now protesting against the imposition of this intake limit introduced in 2023, arguing that such a rule cannot be applied retrospectively. In the absence of the timely payment of fellowships, it is feared that many PhD scholars enrolled in these institutes might have to drop out before completing their research degrees.

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Updated On : 27th Jan, 2024
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