Punjabi University research scholars want UGC grants released

Punjabi University research scholars want UGC grants released

Photo for representational purpose only.

Patiala, December 24

PhD research scholars at various universities are not getting research fellowship grants on a regular basis. Students at Punjabi University here said many of them had not been getting the grants regularly for the past six months.

Balkar Singh, a Punjabi University scholar, said they had raised the matter with the university officials a number of times. “We know of nearly 200 students at the university who are not getting the grant on a regular basis. We raised the matter with the university officials who assured us they will speak to UGC officials in Delhi,” he said.

Sandeep, another research scholar at Panjab University, Chandigarh, said, “The grants are delayed for months. Almost all students are facing problems.” As a matter of fact, the UGC grants are deposited directly from the UGC to the students’ accounts. Officials said, “Earlier the UGC used to send the funds to the universities which passed on the funds to the students. At times, when the funds were not received at the right time, the university used to transfer the funds to the scholars’ accounts from the pool. But now, the funds are being deposited in their accounts directly and we do not have that previous option anymore.”

Students said being research scholars, their expenses are entirely dependent on the grant. “The lack of timely disbursal of the funds hampers our research work as well”, one of the students said. Dr BS Sandhu, dean academics, Punjabi University, said he had contacted the UGC in Delhi which stated that the funds had been blocked by the Central Government. “The matter is being looked into”, he said.

Punjabi University VC Prof Arvind said, “The students had raised the matter with me today. We have decided to write to the UGC. One of our officials will also pay a visit to the office in Delhi and report back.”

Meanwhile, the matter has also been raised on the micro-blogging and social networking service Twitter. An account by the name DeeptimayeeSen2 wrote, “We, research scholars, need regular fellowship to survive. We demand timely disbursement of fellowship and a proper system in place for that”, and tagged the official twitter accounts of the finance minister, education minister of the country and the PMO’s office. — TNS

Tribune Shorts


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