news Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 18, 2015 | 11.04 am IST Research scholars across the country are likely to stage protest today, demanding that the government implement the hike in fellowship stipends. IISc Bangalore, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit, will also hold a protest, but after the PM leaves. Speaking to The News Minute Pankaj Jain said that protest meetings and marches would be held in several institutions across the country simultaneously. He said that so far, IITs Delhi, Bombay, Chennai and Kanpur had said that they would join the protests.  He said that five people in Bengaluru were on an indefinite hunger strike and would only take water. But at least 50 students would be on a hunger today, he said. “We want at least the short-term demands to be fulfilled immediately, such as the release of the stipends for fellowships from all departments. Already, the hike should have come in April last year, but the notification issued was for October. The least they can do now, is to release the funds,” Jain says.  Abhinav Trivedi, a research scholar at IIT Delhi, said that had planned a protest meeting for 5 pm but were yet to get permission from the institute authorities as it was to be held within the campus. Jain had written to the Prime Minister in January, listing out the problems of research scholars, who get fellowships from nearly 15 government departments and the lack of coordination among them. He had also argued that in the interest of promoting research in the country, scholars be looked after financially in order to ensure that people do not give up on research due to financial constraints.  Read: Research scholars write to PM about their woes, demand implementation hike of fellowship stipends Research scholars who spoke to The News Minute sai that it was demoralizing and difficult to have to manage on a stipend as they got older and were expected to at least sustain themselves if not support their families. Around a third of the male scholars however, were the sole financial support for their families and were in greater need. Read: Research scholars tell their stories, want to know if India really cares for them Tweet

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