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.
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. The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the scheme at a cost of Rs 1,650 crore for a period of seven years, beginning in 2018-19. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the scheme in his budget speech in Parliament on February 1.
“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,” Javadekar told reporters at a in New Delhi.
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. Under the scheme, students who have completed or are in final year of B.Tech or integrated M.Tech or M.Sc in science and technology streams at IISc, IITs, NITs, IISERs, IIITs will be offered direct admissions in PhD programmes in IITs and IISc.