The central government is working on the idea of a single national fellowship portal. In response to a letter from Rajya Sabha MP Dr Amar Pattnaik, offering proposals to enhance the research environment in India, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Secretary, Rajesh Gokhale, stated that the government is pursuing the idea of building a single national fellowship portal.
The unified national fellowship webpage is being developed by the collaborative efforts of the ministries of earth sciences and science and technology.
The DBT, however, also stated that it is unable to comply with the other requests made by the Rajya Sabha MP as it was not under its scope of functioning. Pattnaik had requested to speed up the process of fellowship disbursement for young scientists.
Received a response from Dr. @rajesh_gokhale, Secy. @DBTIndia, to my letter asking about measures to improve the Indian #research ecosystem. Pleased to learn Ministry of Science & Technology, GoI, is working on a national #scholarship platform to augment the research landscape. pic.twitter.com/UQClNjNwhe— Dr. Amar Patnaik (@Amar4Odisha) December 20, 2022
The response stated that the department of biotechnology is not actively involved in the adjustment of fellowships for young scientists, Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), and Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) among others. He also goes on to inform that the ministry of science and technology updates the fellowships for the said positions.
Previously, a bank gateway connected to the public financial management system is also being put into use by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to distribute fellowship and scholarship funds. The Scholarship and Fellowship Management Portal (SFMP), according to the official statement, was developed by Canara Bank for the purpose of fund distribution. Additionally, the nodal officers using the portal were given a training workshop online organised by UGC from November 14 to 18.
The portal developed by UGC comes with features like linking initiation by the scholar, monthly payment confirmation initiation by the scholar, tracking module, grievance module, and onboarding of academic users. The UGC undertakes the transfer of the fellowship to designated ministries through this portal.
Meanwhile, the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF), a scholarship programme for students from minority communities, has been discontinued from the new academic year. This programme was established to offer minorities seeking MPhil and PhD degrees in philosophy a five-year financial aid opportunity (PhD).
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