The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Saturday issued a notice announcing that the scholarship funds under various schemes which had been withheld from awardees until October will be released.
The UGC notice stated that the disbursal of funds under different scholarship schemes has been initiated and that backlogs of up till October will be cleared. The funds will be transferred through Direct Bank Transfer and will directly be deposited in the bank accounts of research scholars. Pending funds of many such research scholars, in fact, have already been approved with immediate effect.
The notice further stated that funds for the month of November will also be released soon after. The Commission, meanwhile, is also trying to simplify the process of submitting documents online, a procedure that had led to immense chaos during the lockdown.
This notice came after the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), along with student unions of Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University) and Pondicherry University, met UGC officials on Friday and discussed students' issues including the non-disbursal of scholarship funds.
The circular released today has offered respite to many research scholars who had lost hopes of receiving any money and were on the verge of quitting their course. Mrinal Borah, who is pursuing MPhil from JNU, said, “It brings a lot of relief! They should have been done this earlier.”
Meanwhile, some scholars expressed disbelief over the fact that the transfer of funds, stalled for several months, has finally been initiated.
In another relief to research scholars, the UGC had on Friday extended the date of submission of dissertations and theses for PhD and MPhil scholars by six months. The decision was taken due to the prolonged closure of universities amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, students had been granted extension till December 31. However, it has now been extended till June 30.
In November, Aishwarya Reddy, a student of the Lady Shri Ram college in New Delhi died by suicide and cited failure to receive an installment of her scholarship as the reason for the extreme step.